CARACAS, July 21. /TASS/. Iran’s arguments on the situation around the British Stena Impero tanker look more convincing that those of the Gibraltar authorities and the United Kingdom when they detained a tanker with Iranian oil in the Strait of Gibraltar, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Sunday.
"Arguments cited by the Iranian side to explain its actions are much more convincing than vague references to the European Union’s sanction law that were used by the Gibraltar authorities with the United Kingdom’s backing at the moment of the arrest of a Panama-flagged tanker carrying Iranian oil," Ryabkov said.
"Iran’s arguments are much more right than those of Gibraltar and London who are indulging in piracy. Iran is taking care of the ecology in the Strait of Hormuz," he noted.
Incidents with tankers
Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency said on Friday that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), an elite military force of the Islamic Republic, seized the UK-flagged tanker Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz for "the violations of international maritime regulations." According to the IRGC, the tanker was escorted towards the shore for further investigation.
According to IRNA, the tanker was detained after it had switched off the automatic identification system receiver and did not respond to IRGC’s warnings.
The Panama-registered Grace 1 supertanker was detained by Gibraltar (a British Overseas Territory) on July 4 on suspicion that it was carrying crude oil to Syria in violation of the sanctions.