Wed, 29 Jan 2020

Iran has again called on Britain to immediately release an oil tanker that the British Royal Navy seized last week.

'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,' Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Musavi said on July 12, according to state news agency IRNA.

Musavi also said that 'foreign powers should leave the region because Iran and other regional actors are capable of ensuring the regional security.'

Tehran has warned of reciprocal measures if the tanker is not released, with an IRGC commander threatening on July 5 to seize a British ship in retaliation.

Britain said on July 11 that three Iranian vessels 'attempted to impede' a British oil tanker in the strategic Strait of Hormuz which connects the Persian Gulf with the Arabian Sea, but backed off when confronted by a British warship.

Iran denied trying to stop the British tanker.

The incident came almost a week after British Royal Marines boarded an Iranian tanker, the Grace 1, off the coast of Gibraltar and seized it over suspicions it was breaking sanctions by taking oil to Syria.

Based on reporting by Reuters and IRNA

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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