The U.S. is gravely disappointed with the U.K. after a Gibraltar court allowed the release of an Iranian tanker suspected of transporting oil to Syria, and threatened sanctions against ports, banks and anyone else who does business with the ship or its crew, two administration officials said.
The court's decision Thursday to release the Grace 1 was a missed opportunity and the Trump administration hopes that the U.K. government and authorities in Gibraltar will reconsider, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified discussing private deliberations. They said the court order rewards Iranian terrorism and Tehran will interpret the action as appeasement.
State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement Thursday night that the ship "was assisting the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps by transporting oil from Iran to Syria. This could result in serious consequences for any individuals associated with the Grace 1." In April, the Guard Corps was designated a terrorist organization by the Trump administration.