Western allies back UK over tanker seizure




  • In Business
  • 2019-07-20 14:41:32Z
  • By AFP
This handout picture released by Iran
This handout picture released by Iran's Tasnim News Agency shows the British-flagged tanker Stena Impero anchored in Bandar Abbas in southern Iran  

Paris (AFP) - Iran's seizure of a UK-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz has ramped up tensions in the Gulf region after the US military claimed it had downed an Iranian drone.

Britain and its Western allies have called for the release of the vessel, warning of the danger of escalation in the strategic waterway.

- 'Nothing but trouble' -

US President Donald Trump said he would hold talks with Britain about the tanker's seizure by Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

"And this only goes to show what I'm saying about Iran: trouble. Nothing but trouble," he told reporters at the White House on Friday.

He again denounced the 2015 deal between Iran and Western powers aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear ambitions, describing it as a "ridiculous agreement" made by his predecessor Barack Obama.

Trump pulled the United States out of the deal last year and began ratcheting up sanctions against Iran.

- 'Extreme disappointment' -

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he had spoken to his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif "and expressed extreme disappointment that having assured me last Sat(urday) Iran wanted to de-escalate situation they have behaved in the opposite way.

"This has to be about actions not words if we are to find a way through. British shipping must and will be protected," he tweeted.

Earlier Saturday, he said Tehran's seizure of the tanker showed "worrying signs Iran may be choosing a dangerous path of illegal and destabilising behaviour".

The incident came hours after a court in the British territory of Gibraltar extended the detention of an Iranian tanker, the Grace 1, seized two weeks ago on allegations of breaching EU sanctions against Syria.

"Our reaction will be considered but robust. We have been trying to find a way to resolve Grace 1 issue but WILL ensure the safety of our shipping," Hunt said on Twitter.

- 'Deep concern' -

The EU said the seizure was "of deep concern.

"In an already tense situation, this development brings risks of further escalation and undermines ongoing work to find a way to resolve current tensions," said a statement from the EU's foreign affairs office.

"We urge the immediate release of the remaining ship and its crew, and call for restraint to avoid further tensions," it said. "Freedom of navigation must be respected at all times."

- 'Dangerous aggravation -

Germany called on Iran to immediately release the Swedish-owned, British-flagged Stena Impero.

The seizure was a "dangerous further aggravation of an already tense situation", a foreign ministry statement said.

- 'De-escalation of tensions' -

France made a similar call, with the foreign ministry saying Iran's action "hampers a necessary de-escalation of tensions in the Gulf region.

"We call on Iranian authorities to quickly release the ship and its crew, and to respect freedom of navigation principles in the Gulf."

burs/txw/jj

COMMENTS

More Related News

U.S. President Trump does not want to do business with China
U.S. President Trump does not want to do business with China's Huawei
  • US
  • 2019-08-18 22:43:00Z

U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday said he did not want the United States to do business with China's Huawei even as the administration weighs whether to extend a grace period for the company. Reuters and other media outlets reported on Friday that the U.S. Commerce Department is expected to extend a reprieve given to Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] that permits the Chinese firm to buy supplies from U.S. companies so that it can service existing customers. The "temporary general license" will be extended for Huawei for 90 days, Reuters reported, citing two sources familiar with the situation.

'Strong economy through 2020': Trump advisers insist recession is not coming

* Peter Navarro and Larry Kudlow dispute market indicators * Tariffs are hurting China not US, trade aide insists Traders work after the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. Photograph: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty ImagesDonald Trump's chief trade advisers insisted on Sunday the US is not facing a recession which markets appear to fear and which could cost the president dearly at the polls next year.Speaking to ABC's This Week, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro defended US policy, predicted a "strong economy through 2020" and disputed the existence of a bond-market indicator of approaching recession that this week sent stocks into their largest one-day sell-off...

Trump wields sanctions hammer; experts wonder to what end
Trump wields sanctions hammer; experts wonder to what end

The Trump administration is aggressively pursuing economic sanctions as a primary foreign policy tool to an extent unseen in decades, or perhaps ever. Since taking office in January 2017, President Donald Trump has used an array of new and existing sanctions against Iran, North Korea and others. The

Shell workers in Pennsylvania say they were told to either attend a recent Trump event, or not get paid
Shell workers in Pennsylvania say they were told to either attend a recent Trump event, or not get paid

Workers at a new Shell plant in Pennsylvania were told they had to attend a speech by President Donald Trump in order to get paid.

Donald Trump is touting voter ID laws as an issue in the 2020 election. Here
Donald Trump is touting voter ID laws as an issue in the 2020 election. Here's why.

As Donald Trump ramps up his reelection for 2020 he is resurfacing a controversial gripe held over from 2016: That voter fraud cost him support.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Business

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.