Iran’s former IRGC chief calls for seizure of British oil tanker

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The Secretary of Iran’s Expediency Discernment Council and former chief of the IRGC, Mohsen Rezaei warned on Friday that if Britain does not release the Iranian oil tanker it seized on Thursday in Gibraltar, Iran’s “duty” is to act alike and seize a British oil tanker.

“The Islamic Republic, in its 40-year long history, has never initiated tensions in any battles, but it has [also] never hesitated in responding to bullies,” Rezaei tweeted on Friday.

He added in the same tweet that “If England does not release the Iranian oil tanker, it is the concerned authorities’ duty to seize an English oil tanker.”

Also on Friday an Iranian senior official demanded that Britain “immediately release” an oil tanker it has detained in Gibraltar, accusing it of acting at the bidding of the United States.

Oil tanker crew being interviewed as witnesses in Gibraltar

In a related development, the crew on the Iranian oil tanker detained in Gibraltar are being interviewed as witnesses, not criminal suspects, in an effort to establish the nature of the cargo and its ultimate destination, a spokesman for the British territory said on Friday.

The Gibraltar spokesman said the 28-member crew, who have remained on board the supertanker, were mainly Indians with some Pakistanis and Ukrainians, Reuters reported.

Police and customs officials remained on board the vessel to carry out their investigation, but the Royal Marines were no longer present.