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  • Iranian Minister of Defense Amir Hatami delivers a speech during the annual Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS) in Moscow, Russia April 4, 2018.

    Iranian Minister of Defense Amir Hatami delivers a speech during the annual Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS) in Moscow, Russia April 4, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 8 July 2019

“Recently, the British government, in a provocative move, seized an Iran-operated oil tanker off the coast of Gibraltar, which runs counter to international regulations and the commitments of the European signatories to the [2015 Iran] nuclear deal."

Iran is not looking for war with any country, Iranian army chief Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi said on Monday, according to the semi-official Mehr news agency.

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Tensions have spiked between Iran and the United States after the Islamic Republic shot down an American drone last month.

Iranian officials have said the drone was in their airspace while Washington has said the drone was flying over international waters.

At the same time, Iran’s Defense Minister Amir Hatami stated on state TV that the U.K.’s seizure of the Grace 1 oil tanker were both threatening and incorrect actions.

Hatami continued that Iran would not “put up with” what he called an act of “maritime robbery”.

“Recently, the British government, in a provocative move, seized an Iran-operated oil tanker off the coast of Gibraltar, which runs counter to international regulations and the commitments of the European signatories to the [2015 Iran] nuclear deal”, Hatami pointed out.

He separately referred to Iran's downing of a US unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) last month, which Hatami called a message to Washington that Tehran is poised to defend its borders.

In June, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said that they had brought down a US Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance drone flying over the coastal province of Hormozgan because it violated the country's airspace.

The US Central Command has, for its part, said that the UAV was hit while operating over international waters in the Strait of Hormuz.

Hatami, at the same time, made it clear that Tehran is not interested in a war against any country.

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Iran UK Hatami
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