Iran’s Expediency Council secretary calls for seizing British tanker in retaliation

July 5, 2019 - 13:5

TEHRAN – Secretary of the Expediency Council (EC) has said Iran should seize a British oil tanker if London doesn’t release the Iranian tanker which was illegally seized by its forces.

“The Islamic Revolution has never been an initiator of tension during its 40-year-old history, however, it has not hesitated to respond to bullies and thugs,” Mohsen Rezaee tweeted on Friday. 

The former IRGC chief added, “If Britain doesn’t return the Iranian tanker, the duty of responsible [Iranian] bodies is to seize a British oil tanker in a retaliatory measure.”

The British Royal Marines seized an Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar on Thursday for trying to take oil to Syria allegedly in violation of EU sanctions, a dramatic step that could escalate tensions between Iran and the West.

Hours later, the Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned Britain’s ambassador to Tehran, Rob Macaire, for the act.

“Following the illegal seizure of an Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar by British Royal Marines, the British envoy to Tehran has been summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Thursday.

Acting Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell has said Gibraltar detained the supertanker Grace 1 after a request by the United States to Britain.

He added that Spain was looking into the seizure of the ship and how it may affect Spanish sovereignty as it appears to have happened in Spanish waters.