The Iran Project

UK-flagged ship not seized for retaliation: Iran gov’t spox

IRNA – The UK-flagged tanker Stena Impero has been seized in the Strait of Hurmuz by Iranian coastguards not for retaliation, Iran’s government spokesman Ali Rabiei said on Monday.

“When the good faith in bilateral relations is undermined, UK cannot expect their #illegal_actions in #Strait_of_Hormuz to be construed optimistically,” Rabiei said on his official Twitter account on Monday.

“We hope Britain would restore the trust in Iran-UK ties.”

A senior Iranian Ports and Maritime Department official said on Saturday that the UK oil tanker was seized for violation of the International Law of the Sea and ignoring the principle of passage without causing damage to the environment.

“The British vessel hit a trawler, which needs to be investigated,” said the Director-General of the Ports and Maritime Department of Hormuzgan province Allahmorad Afifipour.

Grace 1, a supertanker carrying Iranian oil, was seized earlier this month by British Royal Marines off the coast of the British Mediterranean territory of Gibraltar on suspicion of violating sanctions on Syria.

The seizure of tanker carrying Iranian oil drew strong reaction from the Iranian officials.

“Unlike the piracy in the Strait of Gibraltar, Our action in the Persian Gulf is to uphold international maritime rule,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said.

He said that UK must cease being an accessory to US’ economic terrorism.

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