Iran Revolutionary Guards deny impeding British tanker

TEHRAN, 11  July ।
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards denied Thursday that they had a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, impeded the force’s Sepah news agency.
“There has been no confrontation in the last 24 hours with any foreign vessels, including British ones,” the Revolutionary Guards said in a statement.
Britain said Thursday that three Iranian boats had attempted to “impede the passage” of a British oil tanker in the Gulf water, forcing the UK warship HMS Montrose to intervene.
The Guards’ statement said that if they were ordered to buy foreign vessels they would be “immediately, decisively and fastily.”
The incident follows an Iranian oil tanker by Britain on July 4 off the coast of Gibraltar, a small British overseas area on the Spanish tip.
The 330 meter (1,000 feet) Grace 1 tanker, capable of carrying two million barrels of oil, was arrested by the British Royal Marines, a Gibraltar in police and customs.
Iran condemned the detention as a “illegal interception”, but Gibraltar officials said that the car was supposed to be a part of Syria, which subjected European sanctions.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that “consequences” of what he described as “a foolish act”.
“I point out to the British that you have initiated insecurity (on the seas) and you will be on the consequences of it later on,” Rouhani said in a commentary by the state television.
On Monday, Iran’s defence minister said Britain’s move to respond. Calling the tanker seizure or act of maritime piracy, Brigadier-General Amir Hatami said it will not be tolerated by us and will not respond without the response. “
The Secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council, a key advisory and arbitration body, warned that if Britain failed to release the tanker Iran will be forced to tit-for-tat action.
“If Britain does not release the Iranian oil tanker, relevant authorities will be coordinated action taken to the British and a British oil tanker,” said Council Secretary Mohsen Rezai.
The incident follows a series of recent weeks in Iran-US tension in the spike, with Washington blamed Tehran for multiple attacks on tanker ships, and the Islamic republic shot down an American surveillance drone.
It also comes as Europe mulls how to respond to Tehran to limit the uranium enrichment limit it consent to under a 2015 agreement of nuclear landmark by abandoned the United States.

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