In a telephone conversation with Zarif on Saturday evening, UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt emphasized Iran’s right to export its oil, and voiced concern about the escalation of tensions in the region.
Hunt also expressed hope that the outcome of legal and judicial investigations in Gibraltar would result in the immediate release of Grace 1 oil tanker which was carrying Iranian oil, according to the Foreign Ministry’s website.
For his part, the Iranian foreign minister highlighted the illegality of the US oil sanctions, saying, “The Islamic Republic of Iran will keep exporting oil under any circumstances.”
Zarif also touched on the legal destination of Grace 1 oil tanker in east of the Mediterranean, adding, “The European Union, which has always opposed the extraterritorial imposition of US sanctions, cannot take such a measure itself, and the UK government must immediately make the necessary arrangements to end the illegal confiscation of the Iranian oil tanker.”
The Iranian minster also pointed to the case of Nazanin Zaghari and other dual nationals who have been arrested in Iran on security charges, and told his British counterpart, “The arrest and trial of these individuals have been in accordance with completely legal processes, and the UK government is expected to respect the enforcement of law and the independence of the Judiciary in the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
On July 4, the British Royal Marines seized Iranian supertanker Grace 1 in Gibraltar for trying to take oil to Syria allegedly in violation of EU sanctions.
Tehran maintains that the supertanker was not bound for Syria and its seizure has taken place at the behest of the US.
Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri has warned that the UK hostile measure will not go unanswered, saying, “If necessary, the response to such a shameful move will be put on the agenda, at an appropriate time and place.”