Following the release of reports suggesting US officials had threatened to harass Iranian tankers carrying fuel to Venezuela, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, warned the United States about sending troops to the Caribbean Sea with the aim of interfering with the transfer of Iran’s fuel to Venezuela.
In the letter, Zarif dismissed the United States’ illegal, dangerous and provocative move as a kind of marine piracy and a major peril to international peace and security.
Zarif stressed that the US must give up bullying on the world stage and respect the rule of international law, especially free shipping in the high seas.
He recalled the US government’s responsibility for the consequences of any illegal action, and underlined Iran’s right to adopt appropriate and necessary measures to counter these threats.
After the letter was sent. Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Seyyed Abbas Araqchi summoned the ambassador of Switzerland, which represents the US interests in Iran, and asked the top diplomat to relay to Washington officials Iran’s serious warning over any possible threat by the US against Iranian tankers.
Araqchi described Iran-Venezuela relations as completely legitimate and legal, and said any resort to coercive measures or other bullying behaviour by the US amounts to a threat to free shipping and international trade and the free flow of energy, and is a clear manifestation of international law and runs counter to the principles and objectives stipulated in the UN Charter.
Araqchi warned that any threat against Iranian tankers will be met with Iran’s immediate and firm response, and the US government will be responsible for its consequences.
The Swiss ambassador also said he will immediately inform US officials of Iran’s stance.