Abb Takk News

Iran’s Rouhani Warns UK Faces ‘Consequences For Seizing Oil Supertanker Off Gibraltar

TEHRAN: Iran President Hassan Rouhani said the United Kingdom will face “consequences” for its seizure of an Iranian supertanker off Gibraltar last week.

British Royal Marines boarded the Grace 1 oil supertanker last week over suspicions it was carrying Iranian crude oil to Syria. The supertanker now sits in British-controlled waters in the overseas territory of Gibraltar.

Rouhani, speaking on state television Wednesday, did not address whether or not the oil was bound for Syria, but did warn the U.K. that Iran views its seizure as a conflict initiation.

“You [the United Kingdom] are the initiator of insecurity and you will realize the consequences later,” Rouhani said after a Wednesday cabinet meeting through state television.

A Qatar based channel transcribed the speech saying Rouhani labeled the U.K.’s action an “act of piracy” that would not go unpunished.

The Gibraltar government issued a statement saying they believe the oil was headed to Syria’s Baniyas refinery.

“Now you are so hopeless that, when one of your tankers wants to move in the region, you have to bring your frigates [to escort it] because you are scared. Then why do you commit such acts? You should instead allow navigation to be safe,” Rouhani continued.

Rouhani and the Iranian government’s criticism in the recent past has primarily been directed at the Trump administration as it seeks to increase sanctions against the Middle Eastern country.

Iran is one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s top allies in the region. Syria is under U.S. sanctions due to an ongoing and violent civil war in the the country that has left hundreds of thousands dead over the past eight years. The E.U. also has sanctions barring crude oil from being sent to Syria.