TASS, July 20. All actions of Iran in the Persian Gulf are in accordance with the international maritime law, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stated on Saturday.
"Unlike the piracy in the Strait of Gibraltar, our action in the Persian Gulf is to uphold int'l maritime rules," he wrote on Twitter. "As I said in NY, it is IRAN that guarantees the security of the Persian Gulf & the Strait of Hormuz. UK must cease being an accessory to #EconomicTerrorism of the US."
The IRNA agency reported on Friday that Iran's elite forces Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) detained a British tanker Stena Impero over the vessel's "violation of international rules." According to the IRGC, the tanker was escorted to the shore for inspections.
All 23 crew members of the Stena Impero tanker detained by the Iranian authorities in the Strait of Hormuz are on board the vessel in Bandar Abbas, and they will remain there until the investigation is complete, the Fars agency informed on Saturday citing local officials.
On July 4, Gibraltar’s authorities detained the Grace 1 oil tanker flying the Panamanian flag on suspicion of carrying oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions. The operation involved British marines. According to Gibraltar’s authorities, there were 28 crewmembers onboard the vessel, including nationals of India, Pakistan and Ukraine. In response, the Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned the British ambassador to Tehran. Spain’s Acting Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said that the oil tanker had been detained at the United States’ request.