FM spox urges Seoul to behave 'rationally' over seized tanker

TEHRAN, Jan. 06 (MNA) – The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman called on Seoul to behave rationally in dealing with Tehran’s seizure of a South Korean vessel due to technical issues.

In comments on Tuesday, Saeed Khatibzadeh said, “The South Korean government’s behavior in this regard is not understandable and is rejected."

“We urge the Korean government to deal with this technical issue logically and responsibly,” Khatibzadeh noted.

“As announced before, the problem with the South Korean ship is a completely technical one,” he said.

“Like all countries, the Islamic Republic of Iran is very sensitive about protecting its marine environment and deals with any violations in accordance with the law,” Khatibzadeh explained.

“As the authority in charge of such issues, the [Iranian] Ports and Maritime Organization is professionally trying to offer the necessary assistance to the ship and its crew, and will inform the public about it accordingly,” he said.

He also weighed in on reports suggesting a South Korean delegation is travelling to Iran to follow up on the matter.

“A trip by South Korea’s acting foreign minister was already on the agenda, and it was made public accordingly, and this visit will take place in the near future, but it has nothing to do with the issue [of the seized ship],” he added.

“And the two countries have not reached any agreement on a separate visit between the two sides because this issue is running its defined legal course within a technical framework, and there is no need for a diplomatic visit,” he said.

MR/MFA

News Code 168150

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