Iranian envoy urges Britain to contain hardline elements

July 21, 2019 - 22:38

TEHRAN – Iranian Ambassador to London Hamid Baeidinejad has called on the British government to contain those who want to escalate Tehran-London tensions.

“UK government should contain those domestic political forces who want to escalate existing tension between Iran and the UK well beyond the issue of ships,” Baeidinejad tweeted on Sunday.

“This is quite dangerous and unwise at a sensitive time in the region. Iran however is firm and ready for different scenarios,” he added.

Tensions have been built up between Iran and Britain.

Late on Friday, Iranian forces seized a British-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz for involvement in an accident with an Iranian fishing boat, after the tanker ignored distress calls.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in a tweet on Saturday, said Iran’s conduct towards the British tanker had been fully within international maritime rules. 

It came weeks after Britain captured a supertanker carrying the Iranian oil by claiming that it was transporting oil to Syria in violation of the EU sanctions.

In his remarks, Zarif also compared Iran’s action with that of the British government, to which he referred to as an act of “piracy”.

“Unlike the piracy in the Strait of Gibraltar, our action in the Persian Gulf is to uphold int’l maritime rules. As I said in NY, it is IRAN that guarantees the security of the Persian Gulf & the Strait of Hormuz. UK must cease being an accessory to #EconomicTerrorism of the US.”

Hormozgan province’s Ports and Maritime Organization has said the Steno Impero tanker was using the exit lane to enter into the Strait of Hormuz.

The vessel was in "contravention of international regulations" by sailing into the strait in the wrong direction and switching off its GPS tracker, the maritime organization added.  

The tanker "was entering the Strait from the southern route which is an exit path, increasing the risk of accident," it explained.

In a phone conversation on Saturday Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told his British counterpart Jeremy Hunt that the ship must go through a legal process before it can be released, the Iranian Foreign Ministry reported.


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