Iran’s ambassador to the United Kingdom has called on the British government to “contain” those "domestic forces" that in his words “want to escalate existing tension between Iran and the UK well beyond the issue of ships.”
Reports emerged on July 21 that Britain might be considering a diplomatic offensive to impose sanctions on Iran, either by a collective EU effort or through the United Nations, for the seizure of an oil tanker by Tehran.
The Islamic Republic's ambassador Hamid Baeidinejad in a tweet called any effort leading to escalation in tensions “quite dangerous”, but underscored that Iran “is firm and ready for different scenarios”.
Iran had been threatening retaliation against British oil tankers after authorities in Gibraltar seized an Iranian tanker July 4 loaded with two million barrels of oil bound for Syria in violation of EU sanctions.
On July 19 Iran carried out its threat by sending its commandos and naval boats to capture the British-flagged Stena Impero in international waters in the Persian Gulf region.
British officials have strongly condemned the seizure of the tanker, insisting that it was clearly navigating in international waters.