London, July 30: Britain has on Monday ruled out exchanging seized oil vessels with Iran as a second British warship stepped into the Gulf in order to conduct convoys which irritates Tehran.
The United Kingdom (UK) has sent its mediator to Tehran to discuss the releasing a seized British-flagged oil tanker by the Islamic Republic a few days back, Iranian supreme leader’s office reported on last Wednesday, as per the semi-official Tasnim news agency.
Relations between Iran and the UK have been stressed since British officials seized an Iranian oil tanker off the coast of Gibraltar earlier this month on doubt it was shipping crude oil to Syria in violation of the European Union (EU) sanctions.
Tensions between the UK and Iran have soared since last Friday when the Islamic Republic seized a British tanker, named Stena Impero its 23 crew, stating it had collided with a fishing ship.
New British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab dismissed the idea of swapping two oil tankers with Iran in a bid to deescalate tensions in the Middle East.
“There is no quid pro quo,” Raab told BBC radio.
“This is not about some kind of barter. This is about international law and the rules of the international legal system being upheld,” he said. “That is what we will insist on.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had hinted earlier he was open to a tanker swap.