Iran summons British chargé d'affaires

August 2, 2021 - 21:54

TEHRAN — The British chargé d'affaires in Tehran was summoned to the Foreign Ministry in the absence of the British ambassador to protest the accusations of the British foreign secretary against Iran on Monday.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab claimed that his government believed an attack on an Israeli-operated oil tanker off the coast of Oman was “deliberate, targeted, and a clear violation of international law by Iran.”

During the summoning, the head of the Third Western European Office at the Foreign Ministry, while regretting the baseless accusations of the British foreign secretary, stressed that these hasty, contradictory, and unsubstantiated statements were rejected and strongly condemned.

The head of the ministry's Third Western Europe Office added, "This is not the first hasty accusation against the Islamic Republic of Iran without any evidence, but the UK has accused Iran of actions that have never been proven in the past and never any documents have been presented in such allegations.

The head of the Third Western European Office continued, "Iran has always considered the Persian Gulf as a safe waterway for the safe passage of ships and has tried to establish and strengthen security in it."

He added that the source of instability in the Persian Gulf is not Iran but the presence of ships and military forces of foreign countries in the region.

The Foreign Ministry official, while warning about any adventure by the Zionist regime or others, said the definite policy of the Islamic Republic is based on self-defense and decisive response, timely and appropriate to any adventurism.

The chargé d'affaires promised to report to London as soon as possible.

In a statement on Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh also said the statements issued by U.S. and UK foreign ministers contain “contradictory” claims and “provocative and false accusations.” 

He condemned these statements and called them “deeply regrettable.”

“Such coordinated statements (from Britain and the U.S.) include contradictory phrases per se, in a way that they first level accusations against the Islamic Republic of Iran without providing any evidence and document and then talk about the ‘possibility’ of this,” Khatibzadeh said. 

The spokesman described Iran as an advocate and supporter of the safe navigation of ships in the Persian Gulf and international waters, and said as a country that has the longest sea borders in the Persian Gulf, Iran is always prepared for cooperation with regional countries to ensure maritime security.

He also noted that Iran considers the presence and interference of the extra-regional forces in the Persian Gulf waters and its littoral states to be harmful to the region’s stability and security.

He also warned against any move by the UK and the U.S. against Iran in the wake of the mysterious attack on the Israeli-operated oil tanker off the coast of Oman.
 
The Israeli-operated ship Mercer Street came under attack off the coast of Oman on Thursday while traveling from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to the United Arab Emirates port of Fujairah. The oil tanker, managed by Israeli shipping magnate Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac Maritime, was reportedly attacked by suicide drones. Zodiac Maritime said two crewmen, a British and Romanian national, died in the attack.

“With profound sadness, we understand the incident onboard the M/T Mercer Street on 29 July, 2021 has resulted in the deaths of two crew members on board,” the UK-based Israeli company said in a statement on Friday afternoon, a day after the attack.

Israel, the U.S. and the UK all blamed Iran for the attack without presenting any evidence to support their accusations.

On Monday afternoon, Khatibzadeh tweeted, "As guarantor of Persian Gulf security, Iran strongly condemns provocative & orchestrated UK/US statements.
Having kept silent abt REPEATED terrorist attacks on IRANIAN ships, they now baselessly accuse IRAN. Any anti-Iran adventurism will receive IMMEDIATE & DECISIVE response."

SA/PA
 

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