DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran ought to seize a British oil tanker if an Iranian tanker detained off Gibraltar earlier this week just isn’t launched instantly, a senior Revolutionary Guards commander mentioned in a tweet on Friday.
British Royal Marines seized the supertanker Grace 1 on Thursday for making an attempt to take oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions, a dramatic step that drew Tehran’s fury and will escalate its confrontation with the West.
“If Britain doesn’t launch the Iranian oil tanker, it’s the authorities responsibility to grab a British oil tanker,” mentioned Revolutionary Guards Main Basic Mohsen Rezai, who can also be secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council, a strong state physique.
“Islamic Iran in its 40-year historical past has by no means initiated hostilities in any battles however has additionally by no means hesitated in responding to bullies,” Rezai mentioned on his Twitter account.
Iranian Overseas Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi mentioned on Thursday that the Iranian oil tanker was carrying crude oil from Iran, in line with the state information company IRNA.
The Grace 1 was impounded off Gibraltar, a British territory on the southern tip of Spain, after crusing round Africa, the lengthy route from the Center East to the mouth of the Mediterranean.
Whereas the European Union has banned oil shipments to war-torn Syria, an in depth ally of Iran, since 2011, it had by no means seized a tanker at sea. In contrast to the US, Europe doesn’t have broad sanctions towards Iran.
Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Modifying by Mark Heinrich