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British seizure of Iranian oil tanker 'won't go unanswered — Military chief

British seizure of Iranian oil tanker 'won't go unanswered — Military chief”

Iran has pressed Britain to release the captured Iranian oil tanker and called its seizure "maritime piracy", Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday.

Baqeri said Iran will respond to this move at a "proper time and place".

Expediency Discernment Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaee took it a step further when he tweeted "if the United Kingdom does not release the Iranian oil tanker, our officials are duty-bound to reciprocate and seize a British oil tanker".

The tanker seized by Gibraltar with the help of Royal Marines - the Grace 1 - was arrested on the grounds it was taking crude to a sanctioned Syrian company, according to the British overseas territory on Spain's southern tip.

Iran denies the vessel was headed to Syria, where the government of President Bashar al-Assad is an ally of Tehran. Six tankers have been attacked since early May, with the USA blaming Iran for the incidents, a charge Tehran denies.

The military chief criticized Western countries for failing to secure Iran's interests under the 2015 nuclear deal, saying it is not Iran but the enemy that lacks commitment to its obligations.

If the tanker indeed loaded oil from Iran, it was not only in breach of European Union sanctions on the Syrian entity owning the refinery believed to be the destination of the oil, but it also violated the USA sanctions on Iran's oil exports.

He also described the downing of the stealth American drone as a testimony to Iran's growing military power, adding, "Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran enjoys the necessary power in the missile, naval and air defense spheres, and this fact has posed a serious challenge to one of the enemy's strong points, namely its aerial and missile capability".



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