UPDATED 8:50 AM PT — Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says foreign countries are not needed to provide security in the Persian Gulf or the Strait of Hormuz. He made those remarks during a cabinet meeting Wednesday, adding, the U.S. and Israel do not need to be involved in security operations of the waterway.
The statement comes as tensions continue between Iran and western powers over Iran’s alleged attacks on tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Britain’s seizure of an Iranian tanker last month prompted the Persian nation to take possession of a British ship by force. A spokesman for Rouhani said the U.K.’s move on one of the country’s tanker should not have happened from the start.
“The seizure of the Iranian oil tanker was an incorrect action from the beginning, and we have always wanted it to be released and we will welcome this action,” stated Ali Rabiei, Iranian spokesman. “As far as I know, the Gibraltar court will hold proceedings in the coming days.”
Iran originally stated Gibraltar would release the tanker Tuesday, while the British territory quickly denied that statement. A court is expected to rule on the ship’s capture on Thursday.