Iran demanded on Friday that Britain “immediately release” an oil tanker it has detained in Gibraltar, accusing it of acting at the bidding of the United States.
A senior foreign ministry official “described the UK move as unacceptable” in a meeting with the British ambassador, who had been summoned to hear a formal protest, the ministry said in a statement.
He “called for the immediate release of the oil tanker, given that it has been seized at the request of the US, based on the information currently available”, the statement added.
The EU and others have imposed sanctions on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government over its continued crackdown against civilians. They currently target 270 people and 70 entities.
The White House National Security Adviser John Bolton welcomed on Thursday Britain’s seizure of the oil tanker, saying the United States and its allies will continue to prevent Syrian and Iranian governments “from profiting off this illicit trade.”