UK seizure of Iranian tanker not to be left unanswered: senior cmdr.

TEHRAN, Jul. 09 (MNA) – The illegal move of the United Kingdom in seizing an Iran-operated supertanker will not be left unanswered, warned Major General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces.

“The UK’s action was in retaliation of the Iranian Armed Forces’ brave move to down the enemy's intruding drone. The UK’s move will not be left without response; if necessary, Iran will give a proper response to the act at an appropriate time and place,” he said on Tuesday in a local event in Tehran.

Bagheri went on to say that Iran has achieved a good level of military deterrence as it was proved in the case of the downing of the US’ Global Hawk drone right after violating the Iranian airspace, by using homegrown defense equipment.

“The enemy has failed to achieve its goals and it has been so much humiliated that it doesn’t know how to act,” Bagheri added.

“We are neither afraid of war, nor embrace it. Iranian Armed Forces, under the command of Islamic Revolution Leader, are ready with fingers on trigger to respond to any hostile measure of the enemy.”

Gibraltar police and customs agencies, aided by a detachment of British Royal Marines, boarded and impounded supertanker Grace 1, carrying Iranian oil, in the Strait of Gibraltar on Thursday, upon a request from the United States.

Later that day, Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned Britain’s ambassador to the country, Rob Macaire, to express its strong protest at the move. He was told that the British Royal Marines’ move was tantamount to “maritime piracy.”

London claims that the tanker had been carrying Iranian oil to Syria, which is under European Union’s sanctions but Iran says first, the tanker was not headed to Syria, and second, Iran is not a member an EU member and also not subject to any European oil embargo.

MAH/83387788

News Code 147396

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