Iran: UK Tanker Detention a 'threatening act'

Iran calls US request for IAEA watchdog meeting ‘a sad irony

Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif questioned the legalities of the United Kingdom seizure of an Iran-operated oil tanker, saying Iran is not subject to any European oil embargo and EU is against extraterritoriality.

Questioning the legality of the UK's move, Minister Zarif pointed out on Twitter that "Iran is neither a member of the EU nor subject to any European oil embargo". Iran denies the vessel was headed to Syria, where the regime of Bashar Assad is an ally of Tehran.

Shipping data reviewed by Reuters suggests the tanker was carrying Iranian oil loaded off the coast of Iran, although its documents say the oil is from neighbouring Iraq.

Oil supertanker Grace 1, that's on suspicion of carrying Iranian crude oil to Syria, is seen in waters of the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, historically claimed by Spain, July 4, 2019.

"We have shown that we will never remain silent against bullying.As we gave a staunch response to the American drone, the appropriate response to this illegal capture (of the tanker) will be given by Iran as well", he said.

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Meanwhile, Iranian army chief Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi said Iran is not looking for war with any country, according to the semi-official Mehr news agency.

The Grace 1 tanker was halted in the early hours of Thursday by police and customs agencies, aided by a detachment of British Royal Marines.

Reports say the Iranian vessel was travelling in accordance with worldwide law before it was taken over.

Royal Marines seized the tanker on Thursday for trying to take oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions, a dramatic intervention described as "maritime robbery" by Araghchi.

The IAEA is in charge of verifying the restrictions on Iran's nuclear activities imposed by the deal, which also lifted worldwide sanctions against Tehran.

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