Iran: Tankers

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 6th August 2019.

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Photo of Lord Maginnis of Drumglass Lord Maginnis of Drumglass Independent Ulster Unionist

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that Iran intends to use its “committed forces” to respond to the seizure of the Iranian tanker Grace 1 by the Royal Navy near Gibraltar on 4 July.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State

We are concerned by Iranian threats to disrupt shipping and are working hard to ensure ships are able to move freely and safely. The UK is focused on de-escalation and we continue to urge the Iranian authorities to reduce tensions. The former Foreign Secretary spoke to Foreign Minister Zarif on 13 July to discuss the importance of finding a resolution to the current situation. We have been clear that Gibraltar’s action, with UK assistance, to detain the Grace 1 tanker was to enforce EU Syria sanctions in Gibraltar’s territorial waters on the basis that the oil was being transported to a sanctioned Syrian entity. The investigations being conducted around the Grace 1 remain a matter for the Government of Gibraltar.

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