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Iran: Britain’s Impounding of Oil Tanker Will Not Go Unanswered

Iran: Britain’s Impounding of Oil Tanker Will Not Go Unanswered

Tuesday, 9 July, 2019 - 08:45
Oil supertanker Grace 1 is seen in waters of the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, historically claimed by Spain, July 4, 2019. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat
Iran said on Tuesday that Britain’s impounding of an Iranian oil tanker off Gibraltar will not go “unanswered,” reported the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

“Capture of the Iranian oil tanker based on fabricated excuses ... will not be unanswered and when necessary Tehran will give appropriate answer,” said Iranian armed forces chief of staff, Major General Mohammad Bagheri.

Royal Marines impounded the tanker in Gibraltar on Thursday on suspicion it was carrying oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions. Iran denies the vessel was headed to Syria, where the regime of Bashar Assad is an ally of Tehran.

Iran has demanded the immediate release of the tanker, while an Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander threatened on Friday to seize a British ship in retaliation.

The tanker was not headed to Syria, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on Sunday, without specifying the final destination of the vessel.

The vessel was likely carrying just over 2 million barrels of Iranian crude oil, the data firm Refinitv said. Tracking data showed it made a slow trip around the southern tip of Africa before reaching the Mediterranean, it said.

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