Iran Judiciary chief urges UK to release tanker, or face consequences

MNA – Iranian Judiciary Chief Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi says the UK, aware of Iran’s power, should release the detained Iranian supertanker in Gibraltar as soon as possible, otherwise, it will face the consequences of its illegal act.

“I suppose the British and many other Europeans are well aware of the Islamic Republic’s capacities and power and should release the illegally seized tanker as soon as possible,” Raeisi said on Monday.

“It is for their own benefit, otherwise, they should await the consequences of this illegal measure and violation of the international pacts,” he stressed.

The official rebuked the Europeans’ double standards regarding the international rules and rights, saying, “How come those who brag about respecting international laws remained silent when the ISIL terrorists looted the Iraqi and Syrian oil, but now, they seize an Iranian tanker, which is lawfully passing through international waters?”

Raeisi called on the UK to abandon such hostile acts, which are conducted “on behalf of the US”.

British Royal Marines in Gibraltar stormed an Iran-operated 300,000-tonne Grace 1 supertanker and detained it on Thursday, accusing it of carrying oil to Syria in possible violation of the European Union’s sanctions on the war-torn Arab country.

According to Gibraltar authorities, the 28 crewmembers, who are nationals of India, Pakistan and Ukraine, are currently staying aboard the tanker, along with local police and customs officers boarding the vessel for a period of a probe.

Later on Thursday, Acting Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said Gibraltar detained the supertanker Grace 1 after a request by the United States to Britain.

Iran has condemned the move as “maritime piracy” and summoned Britain’s ambassador in protest over it.

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