Iran's Revolutionary Guards say UK and U.S. will regret detaining oil tanker

Britain and the United States will regret detaining an Iranian oil tanker, a deputy commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards said on Thursday, according to the Tasnim news agency. 

Last week, British Royal Marines boarded an Iranian tanker, the Grace 1, off Gibraltar and seized it on suspicion that it was breaking European Union (EU) sanctions by taking oil to Syria. 

"Now an action that does not need ability but some stupidity has been carried out by them," Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, a deputy Guards commander, said, according to Tasnim. 

"The American government ... and also England .... should not have taken action if they had made the smallest calculation," he said. 

A British Royal Navy patrol vessel guards the oil supertanker Grace 1, on July 4, 2019. /Reuters Photo

A British Royal Navy patrol vessel guards the oil supertanker Grace 1, on July 4, 2019. /Reuters Photo

"We had rented this ship and we carried the cargo. Their action was very silly and they will certainly regret it. Our reciprocal action will be announced." 

The Guards also denied on Thursday that they had in turn impeded a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz in a statement published by the force's Sepahnews site.  

"There has been no confrontation in the last 24 hours with any foreign vessels, including British ones," the statement said. 

Britain's government said Thursday three Iranian boats had attempted to "impede the passage" of a British oil tanker in Gulf waters, forcing UK warship HMS Montrose to intervene.  

Read more: 
UK alleges Iranian vessels obstructed British oil tanker in Hormuz Strait 

The Guards' statement said that if they were ordered to seize foreign vessels they would do so "immediately, decisively and speedily."  

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called reports alleging that the Guards tried to impede the British oil tanker "claims to create tension (in the region,) these claims are worthless," the official state news agency IRNA reported. 

(With input from Reuters, AFP)

(Cover: File Photo: Oil tankers pass through the Strait of Hormuz, December 21, 2018. /Reuters Photo)