Britain told the United Nations Security Council on Saturday that a British-flagged tanker seized by Iran was approached by Iranian forces when it was in Omani territorial waters and the action “constitutes illegal interference.”
“The ship was exercising the lawful right of transit passage in an international strait as provided for under international law,” Britain’s U.N. mission wrote to the Security Council. “International law requires that the right of transit passage shall not be impeded, and therefore the Iranian action constitutes illegal interference.”
The letter, seen by Reuters, was also sent to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Friday’s action in the global oil trade’s most important waterway follows threats from Tehran to retaliate for Britain’s seizure on July 4 of the Iranian tanker Grace 1, accused of violating sanctions on Syria.
“Current tensions are extremely concerning, and our priority is to de-escalate. We do not seek confrontation with Iran,” the letter read. “But it is unacceptable and highly escalatory to threaten shipping going about its legitimate business through internationally recognized transit corridors.”
Britain called on Iran’s regime to release the Stena Impero tanker and told the Security Council it was working to resolve the issue through diplomatic means.
Meanwhile, Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi said on Saturday: “The mullahs’ unbridled actions in the Persian Gulf for blackmail need a firm response by the international community. They should not be allowed to be emboldened. Force &firmness are the language they understand well. They must not be given the chance for further blackmail.”
Source » ncr-iran