Rouhani says Britain to face 'consequences' for seizing Iranian tanker

Andrew Cummings
July 10, 2019

"You are an initiator of insecurity and you will understand its repercussions", he warned the British government, calling for the "full security" of worldwide shipping lanes.

In May, the United States dispatched a carrier group, bombers and fighter jets to the Persian Gulf region in response to alleged Iranian threats.

London claims that the Grace 1 tanker, seized by Gibraltar police and customs agencies with the help of British Royal Marines off Gibraltar on 4 July, was carrying Iranian oil to Syria in violation of European sanctions against the Arab country.

The report of the detention of another tanker loaded with Iranian oil-the one seized by Egyptian authorities-came a day after an Egyptian court sentenced an Al-Azhar professor and five other defendants on charges of spying for Iran.

While the Navy has no immediate plans to escort the tanker, its fate is being determined at the highest levels, The Times reported.

If the tanker indeed loaded oil from Iran, it was not only in breach of European Union sanctions on the Syrian entity owning the refinery believed to be the destination of the oil, but it also violated the USA sanctions on Iran's oil exports.

"The UK's action was in retaliation of the Iranian Armed Forces' courageous move to down the enemy's intruding drone". Emmanuel Bonne, a French presidential envoy, is in Iran this week for talks aimed at resolving the crisis.

Bonnes" mission is "to try and open the discussion space to avoid an uncontrolled escalation, or even an accident, ' according to French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Britain, Germany, France, Russia, China and Iran are the remaining parties to the deal, which the United States abandoned a year ago. Allies would patrol waters near those USA command ships and escort commercial vessels with their nation's flags.

'And so I think probably over the next couple of weeks we'll identify which nations have the political will to support that initiative and then we'll work directly with the militaries to identify the specific capabilities that'll support that'.

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