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SEPTEMBER 2020

Iran Vows To Seize British Tanker In Response To Seizure Of Iranian One In Gibraltar

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Iran Vows To Seize British Tanker In Response To Seizure Of Iranian One In Gibraltar

Super Tanker Grace 1. IMAGE: Tony Hogwood/MarineTraffic.com

Iranian forces should seize a British oil tanker if London doesn’t release the Iranian tanker which was illegally seized by its forces, Mohsen Rezaee, the secretary of Iran’s Expediency Discernment Council (EDC), said on July 5.

“The Islamic Revolution has never been an initiator of tension during its 40-year-old history, however, it has not hesitated to respond to bullies and thugs,” Rezaee said in a tweet, and added: “If Britain doesn’t return the Iranian tanker, the duty of responsible [Iranian] bodies is to seize a British oil tanker in a retaliatory measure.”

A detachment of the Royal Marines and Gibraltar’s authorities seized the Iranian supertanker Grace 1 in the morning of July 4.

Gibraltar’s chief minister Fabian Picardo claimed that Grace 1 was violating the EU’s sanctions on Damascus. However, acting Spanish Foreign Minister, Josep Borrell, revealed that the supertanker was seized upon a request by the U.S. to the UK.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned the British ambassador in Tehran, Rob Macaire, over the illegal seizure of Grace 1, and called for the immediate release of the supertanker.

Rezaee’s threats indicate that Iran is not planning to tolerate the incident. This could lead to a political crisis between the EU and Tehran.

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