Russia, France, Germany urge de-escalation after Iran seizure of UK tanker

Tasnim – Russia, France, and Germany called on Tehran and London to de-escalate tensions after Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) captured a British oil tanker for breaching international maritime law while crossing the Strait of Hormuz.

The Russian Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachev said, “We hope for a level-headed approach from both sides but it will depend on what plans each side has”.

He added, “It is clear that Britain will never recognize the right of other countries to treat it the same way as it treats them”.

In a statement, a spokesperson for France’s Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs said it has been following developments with concern, saying, “Such action is detrimental to the necessary de-escalation of tensions in the (Persian) Gulf region”.

The German Foreign Office echoed the remarks, saying that Iran’s action “exacerbates an already strained situation.”

“Another regional escalation would be very dangerous. It would also undermine all ongoing efforts to find a way out of the current crisis”.

The IRGC’s Public Relations Department said in a statement on Friday that the vessel named “Stena Impero” had been impounded “at the request of Hormozgan Ports and Maritime Organization when passing through the Strait of Hormuz, for failing to respect international maritime rules.”

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also said the country’s military forces captured the British-flagged oil tanker to “uphold international maritime rules”.

The vessel had switched off its GPS locator, in contravention of international regulations, and was sailing into the strait in a wrong traffic pattern.

It was entering the strait from the southern route, which is an exit path, increasing the risk of an accident

Moreover, Stena Impero had not heeded any of the warnings from the Iranian Ports and Maritime Organization.

An informed source said the UK oil tanker was also polluting the Persian Gulf water heavily by dumping crude oil residue.

Source Article from https://theiranproject.com/blog/2019/07/20/russia-france-germany-urge-de-escalation-after-iran-seizure-of-uk-tanker/

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