The US Department of Justice has applied to seek control of the Iranian tanker seized by the United Kingdom off the shore of Gibraltar.

It comes following reports of the possibility of the UK freeing the oil tanker after some documents were exchanged to secure its release.

British Royal Marines had last month seized the vessel on suspicion it was carrying Iranian crude oil to Syria in breach of European Union sanctions against the Syrian government.

Al Jazeera's Andrew Simmons reports from Gibraltar.

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