August 24, 2019
Latest News

Iran: US attempt to stop release of seized tanker an act of attempted piracy

Tehran, Aug 15 (efe-epa).- Iran on Thursday said the United States' unsuccessful attempt to prevent Gibraltar's authorities from releasing a seized Iranian oil tanker was an act of attempted piracy.

"Having failed to accomplish its objectives through its #EconomicTerrorism - including depriving cancer patients of medicine - the US attempted to abuse the legal system to steal our property on the high seas," Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter.

"This piracy attempt is indicative of (the US government's) contempt for the law," he added.

Grace 1 was seized on July 4 by Gibraltar authorities - with help from the British Royal Marines - on suspicion it was transporting crude oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions against that country's government.

Iran, for its part, denied the tanker was bound for Syria and characterized its seizure as an act of piracy.

It was released on Thursday by order of a court in Gibraltar, a British overseas territory on the southern tip of Spain, after Iran provided assurances that the tanker's cargo would not be taken to Syria.

The vessel, which was carrying 2.1 million barrels of crude oil, was freed despite an effort by the US Justice Department to keep it detained.

In that regard, Iran's ambassador to the United Kingdom, Hamid Baeidinejad, said the US tried up to the last minute to prevent the release of the tanker but ended up suffering a "humiliating defeat."

Two days ago, the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran had said the UK soon would release the tanker after an exchange of certain documents.

In apparent retaliation for the seizure of the Grace 1, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on July 19 captured the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz for allegedly violating international maritime rules, an accusation that London and the ship's owner have denied.

The Stena Impero was en route from the United Arab Emirates to Saudi Arabia with a 23-person crew when it was intercepted.

Iranian authorities are expected to release the Stena Impero shortly, considering they previously had floated the idea of a tanker exchange.

Those incidents have further heightened tensions in the Persian Gulf region, the scene since May of attacks on oil tankers that Washington has blamed on Iran and the June 19 shoot-down of a US surveillance drone that Tehran says violated its airspace, though the Pentagon said the aircraft was flying over international waters.

On July 18, US President Donald Trump said that a US Navy ship shot down an Iranian drone, although Iran denied having lost an unmanned aircraft.

The US has called for an international naval coalition to be formed to escort commercial vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, which connects the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman and is a major crude oil shipping corridor.

Iran, however, said that Persian Gulf nations are capable of guaranteeing security in the region and that the formation of a maritime coalition force would increase the possibility of conflict.

Tensions between Iran and the US have sharply increased as a result of the Trump administration's move in May of last year to pull out of a 2015 multilateral pact under which Tehran accepted limits on its nuclear power program in return for relief from economic sanctions.

Washington, which said in pulling out of the accord that it was too lenient on Iran, has since imposed increasingly severe sanctions with the proclaimed intent of crushing the Iranian economy. EFE-EPA


News history
Brazilian protesters: "Burn Bolsonaro, Not the Amazon"

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 23 (efe-epa).- The chant "Burn Bolsonaro, Not the Amazon," rang out Friday in at least a dozen Brazilian cities as thousands poured into...

Ex-Democratic lawmaker predicts young Latinos will unseat Trump

Chicago, Aug 23 (efe-epa).- Former Democratic lawmaker Luis Gutierrez predicts that a peaceful revolution of young Hispanic voters, supported by other...

International community calls for saving of the Amazon, engulfed in fire

Bogota, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- The fires raging in Brazil's Amazon rainforest have fueled global fears of environmental devastation, the climate crisis and the...

G7 summit throws wet blanket on tourist season in Biarritz

Enrique Rubio

Brexit, US trade deal on Abe's agenda ahead of G7 summit

By Enrique Rubio

Restrictions upped in Indian Kashmir as separatist call for protests

By Shah Abbas,

Brazil must abide by EU-Mercosur deal's climate commitments, ambassador says

By Isadora Camargo

Hong Kong activists stage huge human chain

Hong Kong, Aug 23 (EFE).- Tens of thousands of Hong Kong activists formed a human chain spanning dozens of districts in a fresh pro-democracy intervention...

Macron urges Modi to respect rights of Kashmir citizens

Paris, Aug 23 (efe-epa).- The president of France has urged India and Pakistan to avoid escalation of tensions and ensure that the rights and interests of...

Bangkok backpackers' mecca to be revamped by Thai authorities

By Gaspar Ruiz-Canela.

Rohingyas in Myanmar living in 'appalling conditions’, says HRW

By Mratt Kyaw Thu

North Korea 'ready for dialog or standoff' with the US

Seoul, Aug 23 (efe-epa).- North Korea's foreign minister said Friday that his country is ready for both dialog or standoff with the United States, who he...

Tokyo asks Seoul to reconsider termination of military intel-sharing pact

Tokyo, Aug 23 (efe-epa).- Japan on Friday lamented the decision by South Korea to pull out of a bilateral military information-sharing agreement and asked...

US, Vietnam censure China for interfering in Hanoi’s territorial waters

Washington, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- The United States on Thursday accused China of interfering with Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea and...

Trump returns to G7 with Johnson as ally, Iran and China on agenda

Washington, USA, Aug 23 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States will arrive at his second G7 Summit this weekend in Biarritz, France, with the new...

Google deactivates hundreds of YouTube channels linked to Hong Kong protests

San Francisco, USA, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Google reported Thursday that it had disabled 210 YouTube channels that were part of a coordinated attempt to post...

Mexican president: Legal sabotage being mounted against new airport

Mexico City, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Thursday complained that the political opposition has been engaging in...

4 dead, 100-plus injured by lightning in Poland

Warsaw, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Four people, including two children, died on Thursday and more than 100 were injured by lightning strikes during a thunderstorm...

Brazil's president doubles down on criticism of NGOs operating in Amazon

Brasilia, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- President Jair Bolsonaro said Thursday that while he did not have evidence that non-governmental organizations were behind the...

Giraffes get protection on international trade for 1st time

Geneva, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Giraffes were added on Thursday for the first time to a protection mechanism that restricts their international trade in response...

Protect Paradise, the hope to end plastic pollution in Venezuelan beaches

By Héctor Pereira

Hong Kong gov't: protesters ad campaign gross exaggeration

Hong Kong, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- A campaign launched by Hong Kong activists to rally international support for anti-Beijing protests that have gripped the city...

Macron: Irish backstop indispensable

Paris, Aug 22 (efe-epa) .- UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson met Emmanuel Macron in France Thursday for Brexit talks during which the French President...

Italy's president gives parties more time to form gov't

Rome, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- President Sergio Mattarella said Thursday that he will give Italy's political parties until early next week to try to form a new...

I agree Welcome to We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.