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Iran's Defense Minister Says Britain's Seizure of Oil Tanker Was Threatening Act

Iran's Defense Minister Says Britain's Seizure of Oil Tanker Was Threatening Act”

Iran downed a USA military drone on June 20 that it said was flying over one of its southern provinces on the Gulf.

The tanker's detention "sets a risky precedent and must end now", Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted Monday.

"Iran is neither a member of the EU nor subject to any European oil embargo", Zarif said on his Twitter account on Monday.

General Amir Hatami added that this action "is against global norms and is a sort of piracy on the high seas".

Reports say the Iranian vessel was travelling in accordance with worldwide law before it was taken over.

"It is a kind of marine piracy", he added, addressing a ceremony marking the delivery of new patrol boats to Iran's marine police.

Britain should be "scared" about Tehran's possible retaliation for the capture of an Iranian supertanker by Royal Marines in Gibraltar, the Fars semi-official news agency on Saturday reported an Iranian cleric as saying.

The ship was detained 2.5 miles (four kilometers) south of Gibraltar in what it considers British waters, although Spain, which lays claim to the territory, says they are Spanish.

The UN's nuclear watchdog said Friday it will hold a special meeting on Iran's nuclear programme next week, days after Tehran breached one of the limits set in a 2015 deal with world powers.

The website reported the British energy giant is anxious about retaliation by Tehran after the Royal Marines seized an Iranian oil tanker entering the Mediterranean off the coast of Gibraltar last week.

It comes as Iran's foreign minister accused the United Kingdom of "piracy" for seizing and detaining the Grace 1 crude oil supertanker on Thursday.

European Union sanctions against war-torn Syria have been in force since late 2011. The E.U., as a matter of principle, does not apply its sanctions to non-members.



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