Ayatollah Khamenei says Iran will surely continue to reduce JCPOA commitments

Leader: British act of ‘piracy’ won’t go unanswered

July 16, 2019 - 14:58

TEHRAN – Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday condemned the British government’s illegal seizure of an Iranian supertanker in Gibraltar, saying the act of “piracy” will not go “unanswered”.

“The evil England conducts piracy and steals our ship,” the Leader said. “They carry out an atrocity and give it a legal form.”

“The Islamic Republic and the establishment’s pious elements will not leave these enmities unanswered,” he warned.

Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks during a meeting with Friday prayers leaders from all across the country.

The meeting came on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the first Friday prayers held after the Islamic Revolution, Mehr reported.

On July 4, British Royal Marines in Gibraltar stormed the Iran-operated supertanker Grace 1 off the coast of Gibraltar, seizing the 300,000-ton vessel based on the accusation that it was carrying oil to Syria in possible violation of the European Union’s sanctions on the war-torn Arab country.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has said the seizure took place upon an order by the United States. White House national security advisor John Bolton has praised the move. 

Iran has said the act amounts to piracy. It has also denied reports that the supertanker was carrying oil to Syria.

“Contrary to Britain’s announcement, the tanker was not bound for Syria, and the port mentioned is not capable of receiving such a tanker,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told reporters on July 7.

During the Tuesday meeting, Ayatollah Khamenei also said that Western governments’ arrogant behavior is the main obstacle to establishing ties, the khameini.ir reported.

“If they face a weak government, their arrogance will be effective. But if that country knows the truth about them and resists, the Western governments will be defeated,” the Leader noted.

Referring to the problems rising between Iran and the European parties to the JCPOA, Ayatollah Khamenei said, “Now, in the matters between us and the Europeans, the problems persist, because of their arrogance.”

“As stated by our foreign minister, who works hard, Europe has had eleven commitments, none of which it has met. The foreign minister, despite his diplomatic considerations, is clearly stating that. But what did we do? We acted based on our commitments, and even beyond that,” he added.

Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated that Iran continued to stay committed to the JCPOA despite the fact that the Europeans violated the international agreement and yet demanded Iran to stay with its promises.

“Now that we have started to reduce our commitments, they step forward. They are very insolent, and they have not abided by their eleven commitments. We have just started to reduce some of our commitments, and this process will surely continue,” the Leader asserted.


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