Iranian MPs thank IRGC for seizing British-flagged tanker, call for Gulf tolls

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A group of Iranian MPs thanked the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) for seizing a British-flagged oil tanker on Saturday, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.

The MPs thanked the IRGC for their “decisive move” in a statement which so far has been signed by 160 MPs, according to Tasnim.

Earlier today, Iran’s Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani said that “[Britain] committed maritime piracy, so [the IRGC] gave them a response for it,” in response to an MP who criticized him for not issuing a statement in support of the IRGC’s seizure of the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero on Saturday.

At the end of the statement, the MPs asked President Hassan Rouhani to attend to the topic of charging tolls on ships passing through the Strait of Hormuz, a motion which was proposed in the Iranian parliament earlier this month.

Amirhossein Qazizadeh Hashemi, a member of the presiding board of the parliament, said on July 7 that the tolls would compensate Iran for the expense of “providing security” for foreign ships, the semi-official Tasnim news agency had reported.

As foreign ships pass through the Strait of Hormuz, they enter Iranian waters and therefore Iran should collect tolls from them, he said, according to Tasnim.

The strait, which is only about 20 miles wide at its narrowest point, is split between the territorial waters of Iran and Oman.

Maritime legal experts say tolls would not be permissible in the strait, which is considered an "international strait” according to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

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