On Friday Iran called on Britain to immediately release an oil tanker that British Royal Marines seized last week on suspicion it was breaking European sanctions by taking oil to Syria, a foreign ministry spokesman told state news agency IRNA.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Musavi said on July 12, that. “This is a dangerous game and has consequences … the legal pretexts for the capture are not valid … the release of the tanker is in all countries’ interest,”
Tehran has warned of reciprocal measures if the tanker is not released, with an IRGC commander threatening on July 5 to seize a British ship in retaliation.
Musavi also said that “foreign powers should leave the region because Iran and other regional actors are capable of ensuring the regional security.”
Britain said on Thursday that three Iranian vessels tried to block a British-owned tanker passing through the Strait of Hormuz, which controls the flow of Middle East oil to the world, but backed off when confronted by a Royal Navy warship.
Iran denied trying to stop the British tanker.
A week after Britain seized the tanker and London said the British Heritage, operated by oil company BP, had been approached in the strait between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula, and this had increased the Tension between the West and Iran.
For years, Shi’ite-led Iran and its U.S.-backed Sunni Gulf Arab rivals have been locked in proxy conflicts for predominance in the Middle East, from Syria to Yemen.
Britain is part of the European parties to Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six main powers, which President Donald Trump pulled out of it last year, reimposing sanctions on Tehran.
Washington tightened sanctions from the start of May, ordering all countries and companies to halt imports of Iranian oil or be banished from the global financial system.
Early May, Washington tightened sanctions ordering all countries and companies to stop imports of Iranian oil or be banished from the global financial system.
In revenge to Washington’s increasing pressure, Iran has to Minimize its commitments to the nuclear pact, in defiance of a warning by European countries.
The capture of the Iranian tanker comes at a time of sharply increased U.S.-Iranian confrontation in recent weeks. Washington has also dispatched extra troops to the region to counter what it describes as Iranian threats.
Abbas Musavi said: “Foreign powers should leave the region because Iran and other regional countries are capable of securing the regional security,” “…Iran has repeatedly expressed its readiness to hold talks with its neighbors to resolve disputes.”
The incident came almost a week after British Royal Marines boarded an Iranian tanker, the Grace 1, off the coast of Gibraltar and seized it over suspicions it was breaking sanctions by taking oil to Syria.