Iran cautions against international maritime coalition to secure shipping in Gulf amidst tankers attack


Tehran, July 24: Senior Iranian authorities have cautioned against any attempts to establish an international alliance to secure shipping in the Gulf, with Tehran’s first vice president warning the move will just carry instability to the locale.

The reaction comes after Denmark, France, the Netherlands, and Italy on Tuesday supported a British proposal for a European maritime force after Iran captured a UK-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, according to Al-Jazeera news reports.

Relations between Iran and the United Kingdom (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.

Iran has blamed Britain for acting at the command of the United States and requested the immediate release arrival of its vessel.

Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has on Tuesday congratulated Boris Johnson for his popular victory in Tory leadership race, set to replace Theresa May on Wednesday.

In a tweet, Zarif said: “Iran does not seek confrontation. But we have 1,500 miles of Persian Gulf coastline. These are our waters & we will protect them.”

Iranian VP Eshaq Jahangiri was quoted by Al-Jazeera as saying the suggestion that international coalition powers will patrol the waters of Strait of Hormuz and also graud the vessels that transit through it is absolutely not necessary.

It added: “And Iran is capable of providing security to the ships and it is up to Iran and the regional countries to ensure the safety of their waters.”

Abbas Araqchi, the Islamic Republic’s deputy foreign minister, said Iran would secure Hormuz strait and would not permit any disturbance during shipping in key oil waterways.


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