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U.S. government applies to take control of Iranian tanker seized in Gibraltar

LONDON — The U.S. government has applied to seize an Iranian oil tanker impounded in Gibraltar last month, the government of the British overseas territory said on Thursday.

“U.S. Department of Justice has applied to seize the Grace 1 on a number of allegations which are now being considered,” Gibraltar officials said in a statement sent to NBC News.

They said the case will return later in the day to Gibraltar’s Supreme Court, which was already due to rule on the matter on Thursday.

Grace 1 was seized last month in a British Royal Navy operation off of Gibraltar. It is suspected of violating European Union sanctions on oil shipments to Syria — an ally of Iran — and its seizure deepened international tensions in the Persian Gulf.

NBC News has requested comment from the Department of Justice.