TEHRAN (Iran News) – The Islamic Republic of Iran termed the security of the Persian Gulf as its “red line”, while denouncing “baseless accusations” by British government officials against Tehran over recent incidents in the regional waters.
Saeed Khatibzadeh, the spokesperson for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, told reporters on Monday that Tehran has “done its best” to protect the waterway from “insecurities orchestrated by countries like the UK”, while advising the British government “to pay attention to its own responsibilities and duties.”
In response to a question about allegations leveled by British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab about the recent ship incident in the Sea of Oman, Khatibzadeh emphasized that such “irresponsible statements” against Iran are “not new”.
He said Iran is “concerned about the obvious violation” that the UK did against an Iranian oil tanker in international waters in July 2019, terming security of the Persian Gulf as “red line” for Iran.
British Royal Marines seized a giant Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar in a dramatic step that drew Tehran’s fury, with the saga ending only after authorities in the disputed island released the vessel about a month later, defying a United States request to retain the seizure.
Khatibzadeh said the Foreign Ministry had summoned the British and Romanian envoys in Tehran to register protest against the “baseless allegations”.
“The fact that Britain has sided with the rebellious and notorious Zionist regime shows the position of this country,” the ministry spokesman said.
He also offered condolences to the families of the British and Romanian victims in the attack on Mercer Street, asserting that Iran is “concerned about the safety of commercial vessels in international waters”.
The attack on Mercer Street late last month was followed by another incident in the Persian Gulf off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, when at least four ships broadcast warnings that they had lost control of their steering under unknown circumstances.
The British maritime trade agency termed it a “potential hijack,” while accusing Iranian naval forces of “seizing” an oil tanker.
Khatibzadeh also said that the United States won’t have an achievement unless they put aside former U.S. President Donald Trump’s mentality and considers facts on the ground.
On the accusation raised by European officials against Iran, the spokesman said that allegations made by UK authorities were nothing new, as it was a ring of a chain of irresponsible statements by UK officials against Iran.
Khatibzadeh also said that statements by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell were irresponsible and biased and that Iran condemned the G7 communique in the strongest possible terms, as they were not helping peace and stability of the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea waterways.
The Israeli regime has committed sabotage acts against Iranian vessels several times, he stressed, adding that however, the European countries have kept silent on such aggression.
He also underlined that Iran has never quitted talks in Vienna, but they have been deferred until the new administration in Iran forms its cabinet and the minister and negotiation team are appointed.
President Ebrahim Raisi has made it clear that his administration would welcome any negotiation that would lead to removal of sanctions against Iranian people, Khatibzadeh highlighted.