(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. is seeking to block authorities in Gibraltar from releasing the supertanker Grace 1, which was seized last month on suspicion of hauling Iranian crude oil to Syria in violation of European sanctions.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed the last-minute request in a local court Wednesday night, a lawyer for the Gibraltar attorney general said during a court hearing in the U.K. offshore territory on Thursday. The Gibraltar government had intended to release the ship, the lawyer said.

The vessel’s current detention order is due to expire Aug. 17. The Gibraltar court adjourned until 4 p.m. local time Thursday. Officials from the Gibraltar government and U.S. Department of Justice couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

--With assistance from Alex Longley.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Browning in London at jbrowning9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alaric Nightingale at anightingal1@bloomberg.net, Brian Wingfield, Rachel Graham

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