US threatens to impose visa ban on crew members, 24 Indians of released Iranian Grace1 tanker

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Washington DC, August 16: The United States has on Thursday (nearby time) took steps to force a visa ban on the released crew individuals, including 24 Indians, of the Iranian Grace1 oil tanker by Gibraltar notwithstanding Washington’s solicitation not to do as such, according to ANI.

State Department representative Morgan Ortagus said the M/T Grace I was helping the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC ) – which the US assigns as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) – by shipping oil from Iran to Syria when it was confined a month ago.

“Crew members of vessels assisting the IRGC by transporting oil from Iran may be ineligible for visas or admission to the United States under the terrorism-related inadmissibility grounds in Section 212(a)(3)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act,” Ortagus said in an official statement.

“The maritime community should be aware that the US government intends to revoke visas held by members of such crews,” it read.

“In the case of the M/T Grace I, we will continue to act consistent with our existing policies concerning those who provide material support to the IRGC,” the spokesperson added.

Gibraltar’s Supreme Court has on Thursday decided for discharging an Iranian supertanker seized on doubt of delivering crude oil to Syria in violation of worldwide sanctions, in a major blow to the US which had attempted to hinder the vessel’s takeoff.

On July 4, British Royal Marines detained Iran’s oil tanker off the coast of Gibraltar on suspicion of breaching European Union (EU) sanctions by moving crude oil to Syria, which Tehran denies any wrongdoing.

“The vessel was seized based on false allegations … it has not been freed yet,” Eslami said.

At least two weeks after the UK seized Grace 1, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) captured a British-flagged oil tanker, named Stena Impero, near the Hormuz Strait, blaming if for violating marine. Britain considers the Iranian move to have been attempted as illegal retaliation.

 

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