Ayatollah Khamenei Warns UK of Response to Iranian Oil Tanker Seizure

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei warned the “vicious” British government that the recent capture of an Iranian oil tanker in international waters will not remain unanswered.

Ayatollah Khamenei Warns UK of Response to Iranian Oil Tanker Seizure

In a Tuesday address to a group of Iranian Friday prayers leaders in Tehran, Ayatollah Khamenei lashed out at the “vicious” British government for its act of piracy by capturing Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 in international waters off the coast of Gibraltar.

“They (the UK), whose wickedness is clear to everyone, have stolen our ship in an act of maritime banditry, but try to portray the capture as legal,” the Leader deplored.

“However, the pious elements in the Islamic Republic will not let such moves go unanswered, and will respond in the appropriate time and place,” Ayatollah Khamenei warned.

Elsewhere in the meeting, the Leader decried the European countries’ “rude” behavior towards Iran regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), saying their vanity and sense of self-importance have prevented the Westerners from understanding the realities.

Ayatollah Khamenei further cited Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s assertion that the EU parties to the 2015 nuclear deal have not fulfilled any of the 11 undertakings they were supposed to honor under the agreement, saying, “We have fulfilled our commitments to the JCPOA and even beyond, and now that we have started to reduce our commitments because of their behavior, the Europeans in an accusing manner and insolently ask us why we are taking this measure.”  

The European parties to the JCPOA who have fulfilled none of their commitments have no right to urge Iran to honor its, Ayatollah Khamenei underscored, adding, “Be mindful that we have just begun to reduce our commitments and this process will definitely go on.”

On July 7, Iran declared the second step in reduction of its JCPOA commitments by ramping up the level of uranium enrichment to over 3.67 percent.

Iran maintains that the new measures are not designed to harm the JCPOA, but to save the accord by creating a balance in the commitments.

Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, US, Britain, France, and Germany) on July 14, 2015, reached a conclusion over the text of the nuclear deal.

The accord took effect in January 2016 and was supposed to terminate all nuclear-related sanctions against Iran all at once, but its implementation was hampered by the US policies and its eventual withdrawal from the deal.

On May 8, 2018, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the nuclear accord.

Following the US withdrawal, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the deal.

However, the EU’s failure of ensure Iran’s economic interests forced Tehran to stop honoring certain commitments, including an unlimited rise in the stockpile of enriched uranium.

Iran maintains that the new measures are not designed to harm the JCPOA but to save the accord by creating a balance in the commitments.

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