Iran Describes as ‘Threatening Act’ Britain’s Impounding of Oil Tanker

Royal Marines during live fire drills in 2012

"Recently, the British government, in a provocative move, seized an Iran-operated oil tanker off the coast of Gibraltar, which runs counter to worldwide regulations and the commitments of the European signatories to the nuclear deal", Hatami said in a speech broadcast live on television, according to Mehr.

Questioning the legality of the UK's move, Minister Zarif pointed out on Twitter that "Iran is neither a member of the EU nor subject to any European oil embargo". "We consider this an act of piracy".

Iran has continually denied the vessel was heading to its ally Syria.

The tanker's seizure "will not be tolerated by us and will not go without a response", said Amir Hatami, quoted by Iran's ISNA and Tasnim news agencies.

The government of Gibraltar said in a statement Monday that the tanker was "well inside" British Gibraltar Territorial Waters when it was boarded, having "previously exited the global waters of the Straits of Gibraltar".

Meanwhile, Iranian army chief Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi said Iran is not looking for war with any country, according to the semi-official Mehr news agency.

Iran's deputy minister Abbas Araqchi (Araghchi) had claimed on Sunday that the destination of the tanker was not Syria and it was stopped when on global waters.

The vessel was then captured by British Royal Marines in Gibraltar on Thursday.

Authorities in the British territory said the tanker can be held for up to 14 days.

On Thursday, British Royal Marines in the Strait of Gibraltar seized an Iranian ship which was heading to Syria "in breach of European Union sanctions", western media reported.

The IAEA is in charge of verifying the restrictions on Iran's nuclear activities imposed by the deal, which also lifted global sanctions against Tehran.

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