For a second day in a row, a top Iranian military commander has threatened retaliation for the seizure of a super-tanker at Gibraltar by Britain on July 4.
Chief of Iran’s armed forces General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri (Bagheri) in a speech on Tuesday said that Britain’s action “will not go unanswered and if necessary, a response to this humiliating move will be considered”.
Baqeri also said that Britain’s seizure of the tanker was “act of revenge” in response to Iran’s downing of a U.S. drone over the Persian Gulf last month.
The Iranian tanker Grace 1 was stopped by Gibraltar authorities with the assistance of Royal Marines on suspicion of carrying around two million barrels of oil to a refinery in Syria, which is under European Union sanctions.
On Monday, Iran’s defense minister General Amir Hatami had said that impounding the Iranian oil tanker was “a sort of sea piracy” and “will not be tolerated and will not go unanswered”.
Other senior Iranian officials have also made direct and indirect threats against the UK for the seizure of the tanker.
The United States has voiced satisfaction for Britain’s action while the European Union and member countries have been mostly silent.