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Gibraltar rejects US pressure, says Iranian oil tanker free to go

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Gibralter frees iranian tankerThe government of Gibraltar on Sunday rejected a U.S. request to continue holding an Iranian supertanker detained more than a month ago on suspicion of attempting to breach global sanctions against Syria.

The ship was free to go and could be sailing unfettered by Monday, authorities said. The Gibraltar government, in a statement, cited differences between the sanctions authorized by the U.S. and those of the European Union.

"The European sanctions regime against Iran, which is applicable in Gibraltar, is much narrower than that applicable in the U.S.," said the statement from Gibraltar, a British territory.

Hamid Baeidinejad, Iran's ambassador to the United Kingdom, said the ship could depart within hours. Tehran said it was ready to dispatch a fleet to escort the tanker if necessary.

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