Impossible to exchange seized tankers, says Iranian ambassador to Britain

July 30, 2019 - 17:6

TEHRAN – Iranian Ambassador to London Hamid Baeidinejad has said it is impossible to exchange the Iranian-seized British ship with a British-seized supertanker which was carrying Iranian oil.

“Impossible to advance a quid pro quo or barter exchange of detained UK and Iranian ships as some British media suggest,” Baeidinejad tweeted on Monday.

“UK has illegally detained the ship carrying Iranian oil while the British ship is detained for violating some key safety/security regulations in Hormoz Strait,” he added.

Tension emerged between Tehran and London after British troops seized a supertanker carrying Iranian oil in international waters off Gibraltar on July 4, claiming that it was transporting oil to Syria in violation of the EU sanctions.

Iran has dismissed claims the tanker was carrying oil for Syria and said technically it is impossible for the supertanker to anchor in Syria’s ports.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has called on Britain not to be part of the United States’ “economic terrorism” against Iran.

On July 19, Iranian forces seized a British tanker near the Strait of Hormuz, after it tried to flee the scene of a major collision with an Iranian fishing boat.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Crops (IRGC) on Monday released audio and video footages warning the British Royal Navy warship to stay out of the way as IRGC boats move to seize the British tanker in the Persian Gulf.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on Sunday that the British move was a violation of the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.

Speaking prior to a meeting of the joint commission of the JCPOA in Vienna, Araqchi said that the signatories to the nuclear deal should not prevent Iran’s oil export.

Despite the hostile act of London, British Ambassador to Tehran Robert Macaire said on Monday that easing tension in the Persian Gulf region is a priority of the British embassy.

“Easing tension will remain the first priority of the embassy and Britain,” he tweeted.

MH/PA

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