Britain calls oil tanker seizure as illegal, urges Iran to free it


London: Britain has urged Iran to free its seized tanker and described the seizure as illegal and “utterly unacceptable” gambit, reports said.

Tehran has been ignoring mounting European appeals to free the captured oil tanker with mostly Indian crew.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said it seized the Stena Impero ship on Friday for breaking “international maritime rules” in the Strait of Hormuz.

Iranian authorities said the oil tanker was taken to Bandar Abbas port for allegedly failing to respond to distress calls after colliding with a fishing vessel.

The British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said after his talks with Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif  that “they see this as a tit-for-tat situation”.

Germany and France urged Iran to release the tanker, whose seizure Berlin called a “dangerous further aggravation of an already tense situation”.

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