IRAN has summoned the British ambassador in Tehran in response to what it says was the illegal seizure of an Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar.
Authorities in Gibraltar had detained the vessel with the help of British Royal Marines, on suspicion it was heading to Syria in breach of EU sanctions.
Spain’s acting foreign minister Josep Borrell has claimed the seizure of the ship- Grace 1 – was at the request of the US.
“Following the illegal seizure of an Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar by British Royal Marines, the UK envoy to Tehran has been summoned to the ministry of foreign affairs,” confirmed an Iranian diplomatic spokesman.
A team of 30 marines, from 42 Commando, boarded the Panama-flagged supertanker using a helicopter and speed boats with no shots being fired.
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi called the action a ‘form of piracy,’ a claim the UK foreign Office has dismissed as ‘nonsense.’