Iranian commander: Iran tanker seizure ended Britain’s ‘empire over the seas’

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Iran terminated Britain’s “empire over the seas” by seizing a British-flagged oil tanker, a senior Iranian military commander said on Tuesday, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

“Iran’s retaliatory action put an end to England’s empire over the seas,” said Brig. Gen. Gholamreza Jalali, the head of Iran's Passive Defense Organization, referring to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) seizure of the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero in the Arabian Gulf last Saturday.

Jalali said that today Iran is experiencing new threats, stating: “It could be said that the country has never experienced a situation like this one since the end of the ‘Sacred Defense’ [the Iranian term for the Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988].”

The US was trying to “corner” Iran by withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal, he said, adding that the US plan met with failure following Iran’s gradual reduction of its nuclear commitments.

“Negotiating with America in the current situation is poison for the country,” Jalali added.

He said that the US has tried to force Iran to the negotiating table by stoking fear of a potential war, as seen in the US’ deployment of aircraft carriers in the region. However, Iran’s “surprise” downing of a US drone on June 20 caused the US to retreat, said Jalali.

Dismissing the possibility of a US war against Iran, Jalali said that the US must meet “certain conditions” to carry out military options. According to Jalali, the American conditions for initiating a war include being certain that it will come out victorious and ensuring that there is a global consensus for war.

War against Iran meets none of these conditions, Jalali concluded.

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