Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's top adviser for international affairs says the detention of a British-flagged oil tanker and downing of a U.S. drone are "turning points in the history of militant Islam."
Ali Akbar Velayati made the statement July 23 during a meeting with Salih al-Arouri, the deputy chairman of the political office of Palestinian group Hamas.
He said these actions have "revived Islamic values", adding that recent developments in the region are "symbols of Iranians and resistance movement's struggle against the arrogance of Zionism and the United States."
Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) detained a British toil tanker in the Persian Gulf after forcing it to leave Oman's waters and sail toward Iran.
The detention of the British-flagged ship took place within hours after a court in Gibraltar said an Iranian oil tanker detained in early July should remain in Gibraltar for another 30 days. The ship, Grace 1 was carrying two million barrels of Iranian oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions.
Grace 1 was detained on July 4 with the help of British Royal Marines.
In another development, Iran's Civil Defense Chief Gholamreza Jalali characterized the detention of the UK-operated oil tanker in Iran as "An end to the rule of British empire on the seas," while also calling the act Iran's retaliation for the detention of its tanker in Gibraltar.