Parliament to mull appropriate response to UK’s seizure of Iran’s oil shipment: MP

TEHRAN, Jul. 14 (MNA) – An Iranian lawmaker said that during the next week, the Parliament will decide on an appropriate response to the illegal measure of the United Kingdom in seizing the supertanker carrying Iranian oil.

“We will not give an inch against the English’s measure. The Iranian Parliament will adopt its decision on the case next week and the government will pursue it,” Mohammadreza Pour-Ebrahimi, a member of the Parliament’s Economic Committee, told Mehr News Agency on Sunday.

“This action is the continuation of the English’s animosity against the Iranian nation both before and after the Revolution. This measure will not be left unanswered,” he added.

He went on to urge Iranian Foreign Ministry to plan a counteraction, highlighting, “England will pay huge costs for its action.”

London is following Washington’s policies on Iran but despite all pressures, the Iranian economy is growing, he said, adding, “Iran’s official oil export may arrive at a zero level but Iran’s unofficial oil export will replace it according to agreements signed with some countries. If revenues from this unofficial oil sales decreases, there are alternative approaches planned in the budget which will be taken.”

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. Tehran has called for an immediate release of the oil tanker warning that the responsibility for consequences of this provocative acts falls on London. “I warn England that you are the initiator of insecurity in seas and you will later understand its repercussions,” President Rouhani said Wednesday.

Iran says US is behind the measure which tries to bring down Iranian oil sales to zero as part of its maximum pressure policy against the Islamic Republic. Iranian officials reiterate that this policy will not yield any result for Washington as Iranians are well familiar with the culture of resistance.

In the latest development, UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt tweeted on Saturday that he had “spoke to Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif. Constructive call. I reassured him our concern was destination not origin of the oil on Grace One & that UK would facilitate release if we received guarantees that it would not be going to Syria, following due process in Gib courts.”


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