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Iran summons British, Romanian envoys to protest false accusations over oil tanker attack

The file photo shows a view of the Iranian Foreign Ministry building in Tehran.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has summoned Britain’s chargé d'affaires and Romania's ambassador to convey to them Tehran's strong protest at false accusations leveled against the Islamic Republic in relation with the Thursday attack on an Israeli-owned ship in the Sea of Oman.

In the first meeting, the head of the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s Third Western European Bureau on Monday expressed regret over baseless allegations raised by the British foreign secretary, saying, “These remarks, which were made in a hasty manner and without providing any proof or evidence, are rejected and strongly condemned.”

The Iranian official added, “This is not the first time that the UK has leveled hasty accusations without evidence against the Islamic Republic of Iran. The country has previously accused Iran of certain moves, which were never proved and no evidence has been ever provided to substantiate them.”

The Iranian Foreign Ministry official said the source of instability in the Persian Gulf is not Iran, but the presence of ships and troops of extra-regional countries in the region, adding, “Iran has always considered the Persian Gulf a safe waterway for safe passage of ships, and has made efforts to establish and bolster security there.”

Warning against any acts of adventurism by the Israeli occupying regime or any other parties, the Iranian official said the definite policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is to defend itself and give a decisive, timely and befitting response to any act of adventurism.

The British envoy promised to relay Iran’s protest to his respective country as soon as possible.

Earlier in the day, Britain summoned Iran's Ambassador to London Mohsen Baharvand after the United States and the United Kingdom joined Israel in accusing Iran of orchestrating the attack on an Israeli merchant vessel.

"The Iranian ambassador to the UK, Mohsen Baharvand, was summoned today to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office... in response to the unlawful attack committed on MV Mercer Street on 29 July," said a British government statement.

In the second summoning on Monday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s Director General for Mediterranean and Eastern European Affairs talked to Romanian ambassador in Tehran, rejecting the illegal and unacceptable allegations leveled by Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs against the Islamic Republic.

The Iranian official urged the Romanian diplomat to convey the Islamic Republic's strong protest over the issue to his country's officials.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry official said some countries intend to create insecurity and chaos in international arena by orchestrating such measures, noting that other states must remain vigilant in the face of such plots.

He emphasized Iran's principled policy, whose ultimate goal is to ensure maritime security in the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman and international waters.

The Romanian ambassador, for his part, said he would immediately convey the Iranian government’s protest to the respective officials of his country.

A press release handed out by Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs earlier on Monday cited "the elements presented by the country's international partners," claiming that the attack was deliberate and coordinated by Iran.

The developments came after an informed Iranian source close to the Supreme National Security Council said on Monday that the country will give a strong and crushing response to any measure taken against its national interests and security, blaming Britain and the US for the consequences of such moves against Tehran.

“Although the Islamic Republic of Iran considers threats posed by the officials of Western countries and the Zionist regime to be mostly of propaganda value, any measure against Iran’s interests and national security will be met with strong and crushing response, with Washington and London being directly responsible for consequences of such moves,” the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity added.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh also on Monday warned against any possible act of adventurism against the country’s interests, pledging “immediate, powerful, and serious” response to any such move.

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