by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - Iran is calling for the detention of a British oil tanker in retaliation for an Iranian ship carrying crude oil to Syria that was detained in the British territory of Gibraltar.
The 1,000-foot Grace 1 vessel was boarded by British Royal Marines Thursday near the western extremity of the Mediterranean, with the 28-man crew taken in for questioning, as British authorities said its anticipated route led to the Banyas oil refinery in Syria in violation of EU embargoes on the war-torn country.
“If Britain does not release the Iranian oil tanker, it is the (Iranian) authorities duty to seize a British oil tanker,” Mohsen Rezaee, former head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, said on Friday.
Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell claimed the ship had been taken in by the British at the behest of the US, a theory echoed by Iranian officials increasingly champing at the bit to throw off the bonds of the 2015 nuclear accord and escape the clutches of crushing US sanctions, which they said in recent days European partners had failed to satisfactorily circumvent.
To voice its dissatisfaction, Iran this week announced that it had breached the 661-pound uranium stockpile limit stipulated by the 2015 deal, with enrichment quotas to be broken as early as Sunday, according to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who said on Wednesday that Iran would soon begin to enrich uranium to “any amount that we want.”
The US has requested an emergency meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of governors to address the issue, with the meeting slated to be held July 10th.