July 20, 2024
Britain warns of 'serious consequences' if Iran doesn't release seized tanker as regime insists it was 'reciprocal' move
The British-flagged Stena Impero with 23 crew aboard was seized by Iran late Friday. Maritime trackers show it was headed to a port in Saudi Arabia. A second British-owned Liberian-flagged tanker, the MV Mesdar, was also seized but later released.
The British-flagged Stena Impero with 23 crew aboard was seized by Iran late Friday. Maritime trackers show it was headed to a port in Saudi Arabia. A second British-owned Liberian-flagged tanker, the MV Mesdar, was also seized but later released.

Britain warned Iran that it’s on a “dangerous path” after its authorities seized a British-flagged tanker in the Persian Gulf, but the regime insists it was a “reciprocal” measure amid economic sanctions.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Saturday that the Iranians’ behavior is “illegal and destabilizing” and warned of “serious consequences” after the tanker was seized in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

The top diplomat said Britain’s response would be “considered but robust” but appeared to rule out military action for the time being.

Spokesman of Iran’s Guardian Council, Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei, meanwhile, told the semi-official Fars news agency that the seizure of the tanker was warranted on the basis reciprocity as the British navy seized an Iranian tanker in Gibraltar two weeks ago amid suspicions of shipping oil to Syria in violation of sanctions regime imposed by the European Union.

He said that Iran moves to “confront the illegitimate economic war and seizure of oil tankers is an instance of this rule and is based on international rights.”

This contradicts the message put out by the state-run news agency IRNA that claimed the British vessel was seized because if rammed an Iranian fishing vessel rather than because of Britain’s actions near Gibraltar.

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