IRGC responds to British piracy: Larijani

July 21, 2019

TEHRAN - Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said on Sunday that the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) responded to piracy by Britain by seizing a British tanker in the Strait of Hormuz on Sunday night.

Calls had grown inside Iran to respond to the British act in confiscating a supertanker carrying the Iranian oil in Gibraltar on July 4.

“The British committed piracy and the Guards responded them,” Larijani said in the Majlis.

Britain captured the supertanker by claiming that it was transporting oil to Syria in violation of the EU sanctions.

In an interview with Bloomberg aired on Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the United Kingdom was not in a position to seize a ship that was carrying Iran’s oil.

He said, “That boat was not going to Syria. We cannot tell you where it was going because the United States with its policy of zero oil sale by Iran would go prevent us from selling that oil. The United States is preventing us from doing transparent oil sale. Unfortunately, because there are no EU sanctions that are applicable to non-EU member states. EU, unlike the United States, doesn’t impose its sanctions on third parties. That’s only what the United States does and EU has objected to that. So, the United Kingdom was not in a position to seize a ship that was carrying, it wasn’t our ship and it was a ship that was carrying our oil and it wasn’t destined to Syria. We were selling our oil. There were no sanctions on Iranian oil. No UN sanctions on Iranian oil. Nobody has the right to confiscate that ship. So, it’s piracy pure and simple.”

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.

NA/PA

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