Iran to seize UK ship in retaliation for Gibraltar seizure

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.”

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

“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.

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Tanker seizure by Gibraltar geared to aggravate situation around Iran, Syria, says Moscow

Russia condemns the detention of an oil tanker by Gibraltar and considers is as a deliberate step geared to further worsen the situation around Iran and Syria, the Russian foreign ministry said on Friday.

“We condemn the seizure of a super tanker flying the Panamanian flag committed on July by the Gibraltar authorities who were backed by UK Royal Marines,” the ministry said. “We consider the detention of the vessel and its cargo as a deliberate step geared to further aggravate the situation around Iran and Syria. Commentaries by UK and US officials that came immediately after this operation only prove these assessments and indicate that this operation had been plotted beforehand and involved corresponding services and agencies of several countries.”

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Iran threatens to seize UK ship over Gibraltar incident

A senior Iranian official has said that Tehran should retaliate after the Royal Marines confiscated an oil tanker. It is believed that the vessel called Grace 1 was headed for Syria, in violation of EU sanctions.

A commander with Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards said on Friday that Tehran should detain a British ship in response to the seizure of an Iranian oil tanker off the coast of Gibraltar.

“If Britain does not release the Iranian oil tanker, the relevant authorities will be duty-bound to take reciprocal action and seize a British oil tanker,” commander Mohsen Rezai wrote on Twitter.

The top court in the British overseas territory also ruled that it can keep the ship for a further 14 days as it interviews the mostly Indian and Pakistani crew to determine whether or not it was attempting to flout EU sanctions against bringing oil to Syria.

In a statement, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said that it had “described the UK move as unacceptable” to British Ambassador Rob Macaire and “called for the immediate release of the oil tanker, given that it has been seized at the request of the US.”

The 330-meter (1,000-foot) supertanker known as the Grace 1 is a Panamanian-flagged vessel believed to have been en route to deliver oil to Syria at Iran’s behest when it was seized by the Royal Marines.

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Gibraltar extends detention of Iranian tanker by 14 days

Gibraltar said on Friday it had obtained an order extending the detention of the Iranian supertanker by 14 days because there were grounds to believe it was breaking sanctions by taking oil to Syria.

“The Supreme Court has issued today’s order on the basis that there are reasonable grounds to consider that the detention of the Grace 1 is required for the purposes of compliance with the EU Regulation 36/2012 on sanctions on Syria,” the government of the British overseas territory on the southern tip of Spain said in a statement.

The order came hours after Iran demanded that Britain immediately release the oil tanker.

A senior foreign ministry official “described the UK move as unacceptable” in a meeting with the British ambassador in Tehran, who had been summoned to hear a formal protest, the ministry said in a statement.

He “called for the immediate release of the oil tanker, given that it has been seized at the request of the US, based on the information currently available,” the statement added.

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