The Iranian Foreign Ministry has summoned UK Ambassador to Iran Nicolas Hopton over what it described as the “illegal seizure” of an oil tanker carrying Iranian oil to Syria, Iranian state television has reported, citing Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi.

Earlier, Spanish officials said that the Grace 1, a Panamanian-flagged supertanker carrying Iranian crude oil to Syria and seized by British patrol ships off Gibraltar, was detained at Washington’s behest.

Royal Marines boarded the ship, which has a 300,000 tonne carrying capacity, early Thursday morning.

Prime Minister Theresa May later praised the seizure, with a Number 10 spokesperson saying Gibraltar had sent a ‘clear message’ that the UK would not tolerate any violation of the sanctions.

Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said there was evidence to suggest the tanker was attempting to deliver crude oil to the Banyas Refinery in northwest Syria, in breach of EU sanctions against Syria. The EU slapped the war-torn country with hard-hitting economic and energy sanctions in 2011.

Spain said it is still assessing the tanker seizure incident since it took place in what Madrid says were its territorial waters.

The US enacted its own tough sanctions against Iran’s oil sector in 2018, and threatened to apply secondary sanctions against any country or company that continues to engage in the purchase of energy resources from the country. The UK, which remains a party to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, widely known as the Iran nuclear deal, has not signed on to the US restrictions, although its companies have largely stopped trading in energy with the Islamic Republics in fear of economic repercussions.

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Last week, the European Union announced that its INSTEX financial mechanism, meant to bypass US sanctions, had become operational. Iranian officials have said however that that system “isn’t enough” to resolve the economic problems faced by Tehran due to crushing US sanctions.

Long-standing tensions between Iran and the US escalated sharply last month after an Iranian air defence missile shot down a $130 million US spy drone Iran said was operating in its airspace. The US maintains that the drone was flying over international waters. Following the drone’s destruction, President Trump said he mulled airstrikes against multiple Iranian targets before backing down at the last minute.

The drone incident was just the latest in a series of back and forth developments which have hurt relations between the two countries. In May, the US deployed a carrier strike group to the Middle East, accusing Iran of posing an unspecified ‘imminent threat’ to US interests in the region. In mid-May and mid-June, a total of six tankers were attacked in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman in apparent sabotage attacks. The US accused Iran of responsibility for these incidents.

Tehran denied the claims and accused ‘hawks’ in the Trump administration and their Saudi, Emirati and Israeli allies of trying to inflame tensions to justify the US “economic war” against Iran.

 

Source: Sputnik

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willyvandamme

The British by an act of piracy stole Iranian crude and therefore the nuclear agreement with Iran is now considered to be completely dead.

al-Nakba v2.0
Guest
al-Nakba v2.0

You don’t understand : it’s because of Brexit that they need oil!
As soon as Reza Pahlavi will be Shah, they will pay with interests…
Or not…

Long Live Syria
Guest
Long Live Syria

I really don’t know who the fock are EU to put the sanctions and all this bad deeds will catch up with the Brits sooner.

al-Nakba v2.0
Guest
al-Nakba v2.0

EU hasn’t put sanctions on Iran, which I deplore : considering the numerous terrorist acts of Iranian puppets in the EU, not speaking about the Hezbollah’s cocaine trafficking, we have more reasons to go after the ayatoilets than Israel and the USA. We definitively should have helped Saddam Hussein much more.

Arch
Guest
Arch

Seize the next british tanker through the gulf of hormuz and hold it until the iranian tanker is allowed to pass.

al-Nakba v2.0
Guest
al-Nakba v2.0

It’s a Panamean tanker. If you seize a Brit tanker, it’s an attack on UK’s territory… UK invokes NATO’s Charter’s Chapter.5 and you end with whole NATO kicking your büttocks… Thus UK alone has anything necessary to sink full Iranian navy, demolish air defences and IRIAF…
But considering the Brexit stress on the economy, IMHO, they would summon NATO…

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Ilya Ilyayev

Iran needs to get tough with the British devious pirates.

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Dr. James Padgett

Hopefully, Trump will get rid of evil monsters Bolton, Pompeo and Abrams post haste before these thugs draw the U.S. into war with Iran. Pray that he does!

al-Nakba v2.0
Guest
al-Nakba v2.0

A nice way to divert public opinion from Brexit, it’s obvious.