UK urges Iran to release vessel

22 July 2019 | International

Britain on Saturday urged Iran to de-escalate tensions in the Gulf by releasing a UK-flagged ship it said had been illegally seized in Omani waters in an “utterly unacceptable” gambit.

Tehran was defiantly ignoring mounting European appeals to free the captured oil tanker and its mostly Indian crew, as the US prepared to redeploy troops to Iran's regional arch-rival Saudi Arabia.

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said it seized the Stena Impero ship on Friday for breaking “international maritime rules” in the Strait of Hormuz, a Gulf choke point for about a third of the world's sea-borne oil.

The oil tanker was impounded off Bandar Abbas port for allegedly failing to respond to distress calls and turning off its transponder after colliding with a fishing vessel, Iranian authorities said.

It came hours after a court in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar said it would extend by 30 days the detention of the Grace 1 Iranian tanker seized by British authorities in the Mediterranean two weeks ago on allegations of breaching EU sanctions against Syria.

“They see this as a tit-for-tat situation,” British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said following talks with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif and a meeting of the UK's emergency response committee.

“Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Hunt said that while the Grace 1 had been detained legally, “the Stena Impero was seized in Omani waters in clear contravention of international law. It was then forced to sail into Iran. This is totally and utterly unacceptable.”

Germany and France urged Iran to release the tanker, whose seizure Berlin called a “dangerous further aggravation of an already tense situation”.

The European Union voiced “deep concern”.

US President Donald Trump said Friday's incident “only goes to show what I'm saying about Iran: trouble. Nothing but trouble”.

But Iran remained defiant.

Zarif said Iran's actions were taken to “uphold” international maritime rules.

“It is Iran that guarantees the security of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. UK must cease being an accessory to #EconomicTerrorism of the US,” he tweeted.

Later on Saturday, NATO's spokesperson joined calls condemning Iran's move, saying it was a “clear challenge to international freedom of navigation”. It said all NATO allies were concerned by “Iran's destabilising activities”.

Similar News

 

PDM condemns violence in Zimbabwe

1 day - 05 August 2020 | International

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKNamibia's official opposition, the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), has called on the African Union to intervene in the political stalemate in Zimbabwe.PDM leader McHenry...

Kenyan candidate favourite to land WTO top job

2 days ago - 04 August 2020 | International

THOMPSON KANYETUA former Kenyan minister of foreign affairs, Dr Amina Mohamed, could become Africa’s first head of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).Mohamed (58) is hailed...

Mlangeni was a revolutionary – Ekandjo

2 weeks ago - 23 July 2020 | International

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEK Former anti-apartheid activist and Robben Island prisoner Jerry Ekandjo described fallen South African politician Andrew Mlangeni as a true revolutionary.Mlangeni was the last...

Farm killings surge across SA

4 weeks ago - 08 July 2020 | International

KAILENE PILLAY AND LYSE COMINSDURBANA new spate of farm murders has hit South Africa, prompting urgent calls for the government to curb the surge exacerbated...

SA breaches 200 000 coronavirus cases

4 weeks ago - 08 July 2020 | International

KYLE COWANJOHANNESBURGSince 27 March, 3 310 South Africans have died after contracting Covid-19. It took 102 days for the country to record 100 000 cases,...

Zuma's 2013 pledge still not fulfilled

1 month - 06 July 2020 | International

ILENI NANDJATOONGWEDIVAThe N$100 million drought aid offered to Namibia by former South African president Jacob Zuma in 2013 still has not fully materialised.The first phase...

Namibia improves on peace index

1 month - 25 June 2020 | International

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKNamibia has moved up eight places on the Global Peace Index for 2020, making it one of the ten most peaceful countries in sub-Saharan...

SA loosens lockdown to revive economy

2 months ago - 03 June 2020 | International

South Africa sought to revive its stuttering economy on Monday with a partial lifting of its coronavirus lockdown, letting people out for work, worship or...

Ariamsvlei border porous, farmer claims

3 months ago - 21 April 2020 | International

OGONE TLHAGEARIAMSVLEIA farmer on the border with South Africa at Ariamsvlei says the border zone is porous, leading to illegal movement between the two countries.Namibia's...

South Sudan's guns silent – for now

4 months ago - 09 March 2020 | International

On 22 February, hours before the deadline for rival South Sudanese political groups to form another unity government, chief justice Chan Reec Madut swore in...

Latest News

Nacc prohibits proposed Chinese merger

14 hours ago | Business

Phillepus Uusiku The Namibia Competition Commission (NaCC) made a decision to prohibit the acquisition of Schwenk Namibia Pty Ltd by West China Cement Limited due...

River-crossing fugitive in custody

14 hours ago | Crime

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKImmanuel David, a Namibian-born South African passport holder who entered the country illegally by crossing the Orange River in a canoe in June, has...

Harambee goal down the toilet

14 hours ago | Government

Jo-Maré Duddy WINDHOEK Of the 50 000 toilets in informal settlements in rural areas President Hage Geingob promised in his Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP)...

Contraceptive shortage: 27 900 unintended...

14 hours ago | Health

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKA study predicts that up to 27 900 unintended pregnancies may occur in Namibia because of a shortage of contraceptives brought about by the...

RFA spend massive amounts

14 hours ago | Economics

The Road Fund Administration (RFA) has over the past five-years allocated N$ 177.2 million to the City of Windhoek towards road maintenance and traffic law...

Rid Namibian police of rogue...

14 hours ago | Opinion

Videos of Namibian police officers assaulting alleged illegal immigrants from Zambia are a continuation of many violations that have become common place within the national...

'Covid-19 used for hidden agendas'

14 hours ago | Labour

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK The Trade Union Congress of Namibia (Tucna) yesterday accused government of purposefully using the Covid-19 pandemic to clandestinely and deliberately destroy parastatals,...

Otavi man commits suicide by...

14 hours ago | Crime

NAMPAOTJIWARONGOA 30-year-old man from Otavi committed suicide by allegedly drinking acid on Monday.Otjozondjupa police spokesperson, Inspector Maureen Mbeha, said yesterday the deceased has been identified...

N$5.5m for wildlife protection

14 hours ago | Environment

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK The Game Product Trust Fund (GPTF) has become increasingly important in protecting wildlife due to a lack of funding from government. The...

Load More