Ship seizure claim ‘Hollow Propaganda’ to cover up US failure at UN: Iran’s Zarif

Tasnim – Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the US’ claims that it has seized four Venezuela-bound Iranian tankers are “cheap” and “hollow” propaganda aimed at deflecting the world from Washington’s historic defeat at the UN Security Council against Iran.

“’Pirates of the Caribbean’ have their own judges and courts now. Sadly for them, stolen booty wasn’t Iran’s. Fuel was sold F.O.B. Persian Gulf. Ship and flag weren’t ours either. Hollow, cheap propaganda doesn’t deflect from miserable failure of US diplomatic malpractice at UN,” Zarif tweeted early on Sunday.

The Wall Street Journal had on Thursday cited US officials as saying that the US government had for the first time seized vessels allegedly carrying Iranian gasoline to Venezuela. It said the US had recently seized four vessels, called Luna, Pandi, Bering, and Bella, in the high seas and they were being transferred to Houston, Texas.

The report came after the 15-member UN Security Council on Friday voted against a US-drafted resolution to extend an arms ban on Iran. Washington was not expected to receive nine votes in favor, removing the need for Russia and China to wield their vetoes which they had indicated they were prepared to do.

The embargo on conventional arms is due to expire on October 18 under the terms of a resolution that blessed the Iran nuclear deal, signed in July 2015 and officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).