BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:45 A.M.) – In a televised address on state TV, Iran’s Minister of Defense Amir Hatami warned the United Kingdom that the Islamic Republic has already proven they will react if pushed.
Hatami pointed out that the recent downing of the U.S. spy plane was a clear message to the world that Iran will not back down to threats.
“Iran will never tolerate a threat on its borders and anyone who seeks to harm Iran’s security will be punished.”
The Iranian Defense Minister then turned his attention to the seizure of the Grace 1 supertanker by the British Royal Marines off the coast of Gibraltar.
“These days we witnessed a threatening act from the government of England in the Strait of Gibraltar against a tanker from the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Hatami said. “This is an incorrect and wrong action, an action similar to maritime robbery…certainly these kinds of robberies will not be tolerated.”
On July 4th, the British Navy detained the Iranian supertanker off the coast of Gibraltar at the request of the United States, which said the ship was carrying oil shipments to Syria in violation of Western sanctions.
Iran has denied that the ship was planning to transport the oil to the Syrian port city of Tartous.