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UK foreign secretary: EU-led maritime security initiative has US support

Published: Updated:

An important EU-led initiative on maritime security in the Arabian Gulf has the support of the US, the UK Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Dominic Raab said on Monday.

Britain also rejected the idea that it could release an Iranian tanker in exchange for a British-flagged vessel seized by the Islamic Republic in the Gulf.

Tensions have spiked between Iran and Britain since after Iranian commandos seized a British-flagged tanker earlier this month. That came after British forces captured an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar, accused of violating sanctions on Syria.

“There is no quid pro quo,” Raab told BBC radio. “This is not about some kind of barter. This is about the international law and the rules of the international legal system being upheld and that is what we will insist on.” He also said that Iran must respect international law.

“If the Iranians want to come of the dark and be accepted as a responsible member of the intentional community they need to adhere to rules-based system of the international community,” Raab said.

“You cannot go about detaining unlawfully foreign vessels,” he added.