Friday, 18 October, 2019

Iran's Rouhani Warns UK Faces 'Consequences' For Seizing Oil Supertanker Off Gibraltar

A British soldiers are seen during an operation involving the oil supertanker Grace 1- UK Ministry of Defence A British soldiers are seen during an operation involving the oil supertanker Grace 1- UK Ministry of Defence
Patty Aguilar | 11 July, 2019, 02:40

The Gibraltar authorities did not disclose the origin of the oil, although Iranian officials have said it was their tanker.

Rouhani, however, after meeting with Bonne said "Iran has fully left the path open for diplomacy and negotiation".

"Although for some reason they only refer to Tehran, in fact the United States, who are refusing to fulfill its own obligations under the nuclear deal, lost any right to demand this from others", he said.

Jackie Wolcott, the USA ambassador to worldwide organizations in Vienna, told a gathering of the global Atomic Energy Agency that Iran's recent moves to enrich uranium beyond the deal's limits amounted to "nuclear extortion".

Iran has now blown through several limits set under the deal - including uranium stockpile limits and enriching uranium to higher levels than permitted - and accused European leaders of failing to guarantee it the economic benefits it was promised.

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In its statement to the IAEA board, the European Union urged Iran to return to compliance but also added it "deeply regrets the USA withdrawal and calls on all countries to refrain from taking any actions that impede the implementation of the JCPOA commitments".

Tehran said Wednesday that Britain would face "repercussions" over the seizure of an Iranian oil tanker after denying earlier in the week that the ship detained in Gibraltar was carrying crude to Syria, which would put it in violation of European Union sanctions. Emmanuel Bonne, a French presidential envoy, is in Iran this week for talks aimed at resolving the crisis.

Iran's defence minister has today warned the United Kingdom that the seizure of the GRACE 1 tanker in Gibraltar "will not be tolerated and will not go without a response".

London claims that the tanker had been carrying Iranian oil to Syria, which is under European Union's sanctions but Iran says first, the tanker was not headed to Syria, and second, Iran is not a member an EU member and also not subject to any European oil embargo.

Iran has condemned the British government's move as "maritime piracy" and summoned Britain's ambassador three times in protest.

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