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Iranian lawmakers hail IRGC for seizure of British tanker

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The file photo shows a view of the Iranian parliament in session.

Iranian lawmakers have thrown their weight behind the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) for impounding a British-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz.

As of Sunday noon, 160 members of Iran’s Parliament had signed up on a declaration of support for the Friday seizure by the IRGC of the 30,000-tonne British-flagged Stena Impero.

Iran’s Tasnim news agency reported that the declaration of support was collecting more signatures as the day went by.

The MPs said that recent weeks had witnessed “suspicious acts of sabotage” in the region as well as the illegal seizure of an Iranian tanker by the UK government.

In the latest suspicious act, they said, the UK-flagged tanker had violated maritime rules in the Strait of Hormuz.

“It seems that self-proclaimed world powers are preparing to portray regional waters as unsafe for the transfer of the world’s required energy; thus, we deem alertness and decisiveness in confronting... [maritime] violations an inherent duty of the government,” the lawmakers said. “We support the IRGC’s apt and decisive move to seize the offending British ship.”

Also on Sunday, Iran’s Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani hailed the IRGC.

“The Britons committed robbery, [and] the IRGC gave them the response they were due," Larijani said, referring to the Iranian tanker seized by the UK.

On June 19, the IRGC impounded the tanker Stena Impero as it was passing through the Strait of Hormuz en route to Saudi Arabia “for failing to respect international maritime rules.”

It came 15 days after British naval forces unlawfully seized Iranian-owned supertanker Grace 1 and its cargo of 2.1 million barrels of oil in the Strait of Gibraltar.

Iran has condemned the seizure of its tanker as “maritime piracy.”

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