August 19, 2019. Press TV: The Islamic Republic says it has warned the United States against any attempt at seizing an Iran-headed supertanker that had been detained by the UK and Gibraltar.
“Should this measure be taken or even spoken of, it would constitute a threat against free shipping,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi told reporters at a presser on Monday.
The Islamic Republic has conveyed “necessary warnings” to American authorities through the official channels at its disposal, especially the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, “not to undertake this wrongheaded action because they will be faced with adverse consequences,” he added.
On July 4, Britain’s naval forces unlawfully seized the Adrian Darya 1 vessel, then known as Grace 1, and its cargo of 2.1 million barrels of oil in the Strait of Gibraltar under the pretext that the supertanker had been suspected of carrying crude to Syria in violation of the European Union’s unilateral sanctions against the Arab country.
Tehran, however, rejected London’s claim about the tanker’s destination and slammed the seizure as “piracy.”
On Thursday, Gibraltar’s government announced it was releasing the supertanker despite pressure from the US for the vessel’s continued detainment.
The announcement came just before the US Department of Justice unveiled a warrant for the seizure of the ship. Gibraltar’s government said last Sunday that it has knocked back the request, arguing that “the EU sanctions regime on Iran is fundamentally different to that of the US.”
Mousavi said the US request for the vessel’s prolonged detainment was “illegal.”
Its rejection by Gibraltar’s government as well as a similar move by Brazil to refuel stranded Iranian vessels late last month despite Washington’s objection show that “there is no place for the US bullying in today’s world anymore,” he added.
“We hope that countries respond to the US’s unilateral sanctions law-abidingly and reject them because the sanctions lack all foundation,” the spokesman noted.
No US-Iran talks on Afghanistan
He separately commented on underway negotiations between the United States and the militant group of Taliban.
Mousavi underlined that any peace talks have to be partaken by the Afghan government and take place independent of third-party involvement.
It is hoped that such extra-regional countries, “which are shown by experience not to be after calm and security in the region, especially Afghanistan, take this into consideration,” he added.
He also commented on a Reuters’ report, which recently alleged there was some communication between Iran and the US on the issue of Afghanistan, saying the Islamic Republic has no intention to hold negotiations with Washington concerning the Central Asian country.
Third phase of Iran’s nuclear responses
Mousavi said Iran is devising a third set of nuclear responses, which it would initiate if the parties to the 2015 nuclear accord between Tehran and world powers continue to renege on their commitments under the deal.
Iran launched the first round of the countermeasures in May in reaction to the US departure from the deal last year and Washington’s restoring nuclear-related bans against Tehran. The responses have also meant to prompt the remaining signatories to guarantee Iran’s business interests under the agreement.
The reactions have already seen the country surpassing the 3.67-percent limit set by the agreement on its uranium enrichment activities and the 130-ton cap on its heavy water reservoirs.
Yemen’s diplomatic representation in Tehran
The spokesperson also said Yemen had named a new ambassador to Tehran as the two countries endeavor to boost their relations.
Iran is also looking to resolve the problems resulting from past attacks against its diplomatic premises in the Arabian Peninsula country that came in the way of its diplomatic representation there.
The comments came after a recent visit to Iran by a delegation from Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement. The movement has been defending the Arab world’s most impoverished nation against a Saudi-led offensive since 2015.
The delegation met with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Tuesday, with their spokesman Mohammad Abdul-Salam praising the Leader’s support for the Yemeni nation as “a blessing” and “highly encouraging.”