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Iranian president warns Britain of 'consequences' over ship seizure


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said that Britain will face "consequences" over the seizure of an Iranian supertanker last week and said Tehran's increase in uranium enrichment was for peaceful aims, according to Iranian media reports on July 10.

Rouhani was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as calling the seizure "mean and wrong" during a cabinet meeting.

British Royal Marines boarded the supertanker, Grace 1, off the coast of Gibraltar on July 4 and seized it on suspicion that it was breaking sanctions by taking oil to Syria.

Iran has demanded the immediate release of the oil tanker, while an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps commander threatened on July 5 to seize a British ship in retaliation.

"You are an initiator of insecurity and you will understand its consequences," Rouhani warned the British government in remarks carried by state television, calling for the "full security" of international shipping lanes.

The tanker's detention comes as tensions between the United States and Iran are on the rise over the unraveling of a landmark nuclear deal, which President Donald Trump withdrew from last year while also restoring heavy sanctions on Tehran, thus deepening the country's economic crisis.

In recent weeks, Iran has begun to openly breach limits on uranium enrichment set by a 2015 agreement between Tehran and world powers in order to pressure European signatories to salvage it.

But Rouhani said on July 10 that Iran's decision to increase uranium enrichment would produce fuel for power plants and serve other peaceful aims, and that it was within the framework of the deal.


Last Modified: Friday، 12 July 2019 11:13 PM