03:12 GMT +322 August 2019
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    Oil supertanker Grace 1, that's on suspicion of carrying Iranian crude oil to Syria, is seen in waters of the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, historically claimed by Spain, July 4, 2019

    UK PM May to Meet Gibraltar Head Picardo Amid Oil Tanker Row With Iran

    © REUTERS / UK Ministry of Defence
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    The news comes after the British overseas territory and the UK Royal Marines seized the Iranian tanker Grace 1, claiming that it was transporting crude oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions. Tehran has denied allegations, stating that London's move was an act of "piracy".

    According to a spokesman of the UK Prime Minister Theresa May, the British head of government will meet with Gibraltar's Chief Minister Fabian Picardo to discuss the detained Iranian supertanker and Brexit issues.

    Earlier this month, London said it would send several Royal Navy ships to the Persian Gulf, claiming that Iranian forces had tried to seize British oil tankers travelling through the waterway in response to the detention of Grace 1. Tehran has denied the claims but stressed that Britain had endangered the safety of navigation by its actions in Gibraltar.

    The row comes amid an escalation of tensions between Washington and Tehran, as the US has deployed additional troops near Iran's borders and ramped sanctions against the country.

    ​In the meantime, the Islamic Republic has suspended some of its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal and started enriching uranium since the US left the agreement, as European countries have been unable to shield Tehran from the unilateral restrictions imposed by Washington.

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    Tags:
    Fabian Picardo, Theresa May, Gibraltar, United States, Iran
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