عربي | كوردى



Iran calls on Britain to release seized oil tanker immediately

Iran calls on Britain to release seized oil tanker immediately

2019/07/12 | 15:55

(Hatha al-Youm | Iraq News)- Iran

called on Britain on Friday to immediately release an oil tanker that British

Royal Marines seized last week on suspicion it was breaking European sanctions

by taking oil to Syria, a foreign ministry spokesman told state news agency

IRNA.“This

is a dangerous game and has consequences... the legal pretexts for the capture

are not valid... the release of the tanker is in all countries’ interest,” the

spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, said.Iran

has warned of reciprocal measures if the tanker is not released.Britain

said on Thursday that three Iranian vessels tried to block a British-owned tanker

passing through the Strait of Hormuz, which controls the flow of Middle East

oil to the world, but backed off when confronted by a Royal Navy warship.Iran

denied that its vessels had done any such thing.Tension

between Iran and the West has increased a week after Britain seized the tanker

and London said the British Heritage, operated by oil company BP, had been

approached in the strait between Iran and the Arabian peninsula.Mousavi

accused Britain of seizing the tanker under US pressure. “Such illegal measures

could increase tensions in the Gulf,” he told IRNA.For

decades, Shiite-led Iran and its US-backed Sunni Gulf Arab rivals have been

locked in proxy battles for predominance in the Middle East, from Syria to

Yemen.Britain

is among European parties to Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six major powers,

which President Donald Trump pulled out of it last year, reimposing sanctions

on Tehran.Washington

tightened sanctions from the start of May, ordering all countries and companies

to halt imports of Iranian oil or be banished from the global financial system.In

retaliation to Washington’s mounting pressure, Iran has decreased its

commitments to the nuclear pact, in defiance of a warning by European

countries.The

United States, Iran’s longtime foe, blames Tehran for a series of attacks on

shipping in the world’s most important oil artery since mid-May, accusations

Tehran rejects.The

capture of the Iranian tanker comes at a time of sharply increased US-Iranian

confrontation in recent weeks. Washington has also dispatched extra troops to

the region to counter what it describes as Iranian threats.“Foreign

powers should leave the region because Iran and other regional countries are

capable of securing the regional security,” Mousavi said.“...Iran

has repeatedly expressed its readiness to hold talks with its neighbors to

resolve disputes,” he added.











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