Zarif Reacts to Release of Iranian Tanker in Gibraltar: Detention Was 100% Unlawful
By Staff, Agencies
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reacted to the release of an Iranian oil tanker captured by the British forces in Gibraltar six weeks ago, saying the detention of the supertanker was “100% unlawful”.
“Our London Embassy note to UKFCO: -Protested the illegal detention of Grace1; -Repeated public statements about destination; & -Made it crystal clear that EU sanctions do NOT apply to Iran—a position shared by most Europeans. Nothing changes the fact: detention was 100% unlawful,” Zarif said on his Twitter account on Thursday night.
In another tweet earlier in the day, Zarif blamed the US administration for the capture of the oil tanker and said, “Having failed to accomplish its objectives through its #EconomicTerrorism—including depriving cancer patients of medicine— the US attempted to abuse the legal system to steal our property on the high seas.”
“This piracy attempt is indicative of Trump admin's contempt for the law,” he added in his tweet.
The authorities in Gibraltar on Thursday released the Iranian vessel, Grace 1 [now known as Adrian Darya], defying a US request hours earlier to seize the ship. They also released the ship’s crew from detention.
On July 4, the British Royal Marines seized the giant Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar for trying to take oil to Syria allegedly in violation of EU sanctions.
Tehran maintained that the supertanker was not bound for Syria and its seizure has taken place at the behest of the US.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned the British envoy to Tehran several times in protest at the UK navy’s move.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned London that it will definitely pay the price for the illegal seizure of Grace 1 in international waters.