Iran’s top diplomat defended on Saturday his country’s policies and actions after the military detained a Swedish-owned tanker with a British flag of convenience. Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif reiterated that it is the government in Tehran that “guarantees the security” in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.
“Unlike the piracy in the Strait of Gibraltar, our action in the Persian Gulf is to uphold int’l maritime rules… UK must cease being an accessory to economic terrorism of the US,” he wrote on Twitter.
The economy is struggling under sanctions introduced by the United States, which last year withdrew from the international deal which regulated the Islamic Republic’s controversial nuclear program. The latter disputes the capture of its tanker in Gibraltar. Authorities in the United Kingdom’s overseas territory are refusing to release it amid suspicion it would deliver oil to Syria.