Washington, Aug 17 : The US justice department has issued a warrant to seize a detained Iranian oil tanker, a day after a judge in Gibraltar ordered it to be released.
The Grace 1 supertanker, which is carrying 2.1m barrels of oil, was detained on July 4, on suspicion of illegally transporting oil to Syria. A last-minute legal attempt by the US to keep the tanker detained was rejected by Gibraltar on Thursday, said a BBC news report.
Iran previously called the detention of Grace 1 an "illegal interception". Two weeks after Grace 1 was detained, on 19 July, Iran seized the British flagged tanker Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz.
Although Iran claimed the ship had violated "international maritime rules", the seizure of Stena Impero was widely believed to be an act of retaliation.