Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Iran to US: Vessel seizures in Persian Gulf meant to confront maritime law violations

Iran dismisses “baseless” claims by the US that its vessel seizures endanger maritime security in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, saying the recent confiscations were aimed at confronting violations of maritime law.

“The US seizes Iran’s oil shipments for no reason at all, but when Iran seizes ships because of their violations, they blame Iran,” said Spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry Nasser Kanaani.

Iran, he said, considers the allegations of US authorities regarding endangering the safety of navigation in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz “to be completely rejected and baseless.”

In three separate incidents, Iranian naval forces have impounded three ships off the country’s southern coast in recent weeks for their breaches of shipping safety law.

Responding to one of the incidents in early May, State Department spokesman Vedant Patel claimed, “Iran’s harassment of vessels and interference with navigational rights in regional and international waters are contrary to international law and disruptive to regional stability and security.”

Kanaani, however, said it is actually the US that threatens the safety of navigation by acting against international maritime law and seizing Iranian oil shipments in the high seas.

The US has cited “violations” of its unilateral sanctions to justify confiscations of Iran-related ships at sea.

“Iran bears the greatest responsibility for securing the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, and the destabilizing actions of the Americans only double Iran’s responsibility in dealing with the violators,” Kanaani added.

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