Iran minister vows to respond to United Kingdom detaining oil tanker

Iran calls US request for IAEA watchdog meeting ‘a sad irony

It comes as Iran's foreign minister accused the United Kingdom of "piracy" for seizing and detaining the Grace 1 crude oil supertanker on Thursday.

The British Heritage, able to haul about 1 million barrels of oil, was sailing toward Iraq's Basrah terminal in the south of country when it made an abrupt u-turn on July 6.

"It's a psychological game that's being played", said Olivier Jakob, managing director of energy consultant Petromatrix GmbH.

UK Ambassador to Iran, Nicholas Hopton, has been summoned to the foreign ministry for the third time, amid the ongoing tensions between London and Tehran over the seizure of an Iranian oil tanker off Gibraltar last week.

Britain's seizing of an Iranian oil tanker last week was a threatening act that will not be tolerated, Iran's Defence Minister Amir Hatami said on Monday in a speech broadcast live on state television. Last I checked, European Union was against extraterritoriality. An Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander threatened to seize a British ship in retaliation.

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The incident occurred amid heightened tensions over Iran's unravelling 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which the USA withdrew from previous year.

Mr Kamalvandi also said the country's options within the next 60 days included enriching uranium to 20 per cent purity or beyond, and restarting the IR-2 M centrifuges dismantled under the deal.

A day after Iran drew worldwide condemnation for announcing that it was rolling back some of its commitments under its landmark nuclear deal with world powers, the commander of Iran's armed forces said Monday that his country does not want to provoke a conflict.

The confrontation has brought the USA and Iran close to the brink of conflict, with Donald Trump calling off air strikes against Iranian targets last month only minutes before impact.

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