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Iran reserves right to sue US over abortive act of piracy: Lawmaker

This video grab of footage broadcast by the Iranian state TV on November 3, 2021, shows the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ navy units observing a US warship (L) and a Vietnam-flagged oil tanker (R), in the Sea of Oman. (Photo by AFP)

A senior Iranian lawmaker has hailed a recent operation by the naval forces of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) to release a stolen Iranian oil shipment captured by the United States, saying the Islamic Republic reserves the right to sue the US over its failed act of piracy.

Speaking to IRNA on Saturday, a member of the Iranian Parliament’s Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy, Shahriar Heidari, said the promotion of Iran’s naval power is a matter of serious concern for the US that sought to show off its own power, but its failed attempt only brought disgrace and humiliation to the Americans.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran reserves the right to sue [the US] and pursue the case, and the [country's] diplomatic apparatus must follow up on the issue in international forums,” Heidari added.

The IRGC’s Navy released a video on Wednesday showing Iranian forces landing on the deck of a tanker that had seized an Iranian oil shipment in an “act of piracy”. They then navigated the vessel toward Iranian waters. The incident had taken place on October 25.

Earlier, American forces had confiscated a tanker carrying the cargo of Iranian oil in the strategic Sea of Oman and had transferred its consignment of crude to the IRGC-captured MV Sothys, a Vietnamese-flagged ship.

In a statement, the IRGC said that after the American forces had transferred the crude to the second vessel, “timely and powerful” action by the Guards’ servicemen “frustrated the operation by the terrorist US Army’s naval forces to steal the Islamic Republic of Iran's oil in the Sea of Oman.”

Heidari further said US efforts to steal the Iranian oil shipment in the Sea of Oman contravened maritime regulations and international conventions.

“All countries must abide by the rules and regulations of international conventions and the US act of piracy violated these regulations,” the Iranian lawmaker added.

He emphasized that such provocative measures would only escalate tensions, which would be detrimental to all regional countries, warning that those states that host “bases for the US in the region should know that the US only seeks tension and discord in the region.”

The Islamic Republic acts quite decisively to defend its rights, he said, praising the IRGC Navy's timely action to prevent the US from hijacking the tanker carrying Iranian oil.

Heidari urged regional countries to take lessons from the incident and be watchful of the US acts of provocation.

IRGC Chief Commander Major General Hossein Salami said on Thursday that the United States is accustomed to suffering back-to-back defeat from Iran but has yet to learn a lesson.

“The Americans are used to constantly suffering defeats at the hands of the Iranian people, but of course, this has not yet become a lesson for them. The decline of the United States has begun, and on the contrary, we have increasingly been boosting political vitality and revolutionary enthusiasm and our establishment has been reaching higher levels of power day by day,” Salami said.

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