Tanker-for-tanker barter impossible, says Iran's UK envoy

TEHRAN, Jul. 30 (MNA) – Iran’s ambassador to London, Hamid Baeidinejad, has ruled out a suggestion by some British media outlets for an exchange between the countries' detained oil tankers.

“Impossible to advance a quid pro quo or barter exchange of detained UK and Iranian ships as some British media suggest,” Hamid Baedinejad wrote in a tweet on Monday.

“UK has illegally detained the ship carrying Iranian oil while the British ship is detained for violating some key safety/security regulations in Hormuz Strait,” he added.

On July 4, the UK seized a supertanker carrying Iranian oil near Gibraltar, alleging that it was violating unilateral European Union sanctions by carrying crude for Syria. Iran refuted the claim that the ship was bound for Syria, and condemned the seizure as piracy.

Tehran later impounded a British-flagged ship in the Strait of Hormuz for failing to stop after hitting an Iranian fishing boat, a violation of international maritime rules.

The UK outlets had made the suggestion for the exchange, misinterpreting remarks made earlier by the head of Iran's Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Kamal Kharrazi, in which he had said, “We hope that the Britons would release the Iranian tanker, and also that taking place of due process in Iran would lead to release of the British tanker too.”

Meanwhile, the UK foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, also said that there can be no “quid pro quo” to end the standoff regarding the two detained tankers. 

MNA/4679888

News Code 148236

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