UK’s failure to release Iran tanker won’t go unanswered: envoy

TEHRAN, Jul. 14 (MNA) – Iranian ambassador to London, Hamid Baeidinejad, said the UK’s failure to release an Iranian oil tanker held in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar since earlier this month “will not be left unanswered.”

“Having miscalculated in its unlawful seizure of tanker, UK should not repeat its miscalculation. Ship did NOT violate any law or norm - but UK, through its illegal piracy, most certainly has. Failure to release the tanker and its cargo will NOT be left unanswered,” wrote the Iranian ambassador to London, Hamid Baeidinejad in a tweet on Saturday.

His tweet followed a phone conversation between Iranian and British foreign ministers over the issue, during which Zarif called on Britain to accelerate efforts meant to release the Iranian oil tanker, while Jeremy Hunt said, according to his tweet, that “UK would facilitate release if we received guarantees that it would not be going to Syria.”

The phone conversation took place ten days after British naval forces seized the Iran-operated Grace 1 supertanker off the coast of Gibraltar on alleged suspicion of carrying crude oil to Syria, which has been under EU sanctions since 2011.

Spain, which challenges the British ownership of Gibraltar, has, however, said the seizure was prompted by a US request to Britain and appeared to have taken place in Spanish waters.

The Islamic Republic has condemned the seizure as “piracy,” vowing to employ all its political and legal capacities to secure the release of the vessel.

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News Code 147593

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