Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani warned Britain on Wednesday of “consequences” over the detention of an Iranian oil tanker off the coast of Gibraltar.
“I point out to the British that you initiated insecurity (on the seas and you shall grasp the consequences of it later on,” Mr. Rouhani said in comments to the Cabinet broadcast by state TV.
Iran’s President called the seizure of the tanker “a foolish act.”
The 330-m Grace 1 tanker, capable of carrying two million barrels of oil, was halted on Thursday by the police and customs in Gibraltar — a tiny British overseas territory on Spain’s southern tip — with the aid of a detachment of British Royal Marines.
Iran condemned the detention as an “illegal interceon,” but Gibraltar officials said the cargo was believed to be destined for Syria, which is subject to European sanctions.
Iran denied this, saying that the destination “was somewhere else.”
“The port named in Syria does not even have the capacity for such a supertanker to dock,” Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said on Sunday.