British Foreign Secretary Phones Zarif on Tankers

July 20, 2019

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Tehran, July 20, IRNA- British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt in a telephone call with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif talked about the latest developments concerning the oil tankers.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt spoke with Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is in Caracas, on the latest developments about the seizure of oil tankers.

In this call, Zarif reminded that, contrary to the illegal action taken by Britain in the seizure of a tanker carrying Iranian oil, Iran's action has been based on the request of the Ports and Maritime Organization given to the violation of the rules by the English ship and should be followed up by legal channels.

The two sides underlined the need to find legal solutions and avoid rising tensions.

The Navy Force of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, at the request of the Hormuzgan Province Ports and Maritime Organization seized the British ship Stena Impero for creating problem, shutting down GPS and disposal of oil waste.

The move comes at a time when the British navy seized a tanker carrying Iranian oil two weeks ago in Gibraltar on the pretext that it did not comply with the EU sanctions against Syria and extended it yesterday.

Public Relations Department of the IRGC announced hours earlier in a statement the seizure of an English tanker in the Strait of Hormuz.

 According to the announcement, “On Friday evening, July 19, a British tanker "Stena Impero"  crossing the Strait of Hormuz due to non-observance of the international maritime laws and regulations at the request of the Ports and Maritime Organization of Hormuzgan province, was seized by the flotilla of the 1st Zone of the IRGC Navy."

The tanker was guided to the shore after being seized and was handed over to the Ports and Maritime Organization for legal procedures and inspections.

The company's Stena Impero of the UK, the owner of the tanker, said in a statement that the tanker was seized by 23 crew members by unknown boats.

The crew of the British tanker seized by Iranian forces in the Strait of Hormuz should remain on board in compliance with safety regulations, a local Iranian official said Saturday.

Allahmorad Afifipour, director general of Ports and Maritime Affairs of Hormuzgan province, said, "There are 18 Indian and five crew members from Russia, the Philippines, Latvia and other countries on board of Stena Impero. The captain is Indian, but the tanker is UK-flagged."

"Stena Impero crashed into a fishing vessel," he said, adding that the captain of the vessel tried to make contact with the UK tanker, but there was no signal.

The Department of Ports and Maritime Affairs of Hormuzgan province was informed on the situation in compliance with the procedures, Afifipour said.

The Iranian forces, then, were informed to lead the British tanker toward Bandar Abbas so that investigation is underway over the case, the official said.

"The oil tanker led by the Navy of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps will soon give berth at Bandar Abbas anchor," he said.