Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has called on the UK government to immediately release the seized Iranian oil tanker, stressing that Iran will continue oil exports under any conditions.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made the remarks in a phone conversation with British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Saturday afternoon during which Hunt expressed hope that the legal process in Gibraltar would lead to the release of the ‘Grace 1’, which was carrying Iranian oil.
Emphasizing the illegality of US oil sanctions, the Iranian foreign minister said in the telephone conversation that the Islamic Republic of Iran will continue to export its oil under any circumstances.
With regard to the legal destination of the Grace 1 in the eastern Mediterranean, Zarif added that the European Union, which has constantly opposed US secondary sanctions, cannot take such action.
He called on the British government to immediately take necessary actions to put an end to the illegal seizure of the Iranian tanker.
With regard to the British-Iranian dual nationals imprisoned in Iran like the case of Nazanin Zaghari, the top Iranian diplomat said that “the arrest and trial of these individuals were based on completely legal procedures, and the British government is expected to respect the rule of law and the independence of the Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Prior to this statement by Iranian Foreign Ministry on Zarif and Hunt’s phone call this afternoon, the UK foreign secretary had posted tweets, saying that his country may release the oil tanker if is receives guarantees that it would not sail towards Syria, following due process in Gibraltar courts.