Iran threatens British shipping in retaliation for tanker seizure
Iran on Friday threatened to capture a British oil tanker unless the United Kingdom releases an Iranian tanker that was recently seized in Gibraltar by UK Marines. A day earlier, the Iranian government had summoned the British ambassador over the incident. Gibraltar said the vessel had been seized because it was transporting crude oil to Syria despite international sanctions prohibiting sales of oil to that country.
Tensions between Europe and Iran surged this week after Iran violated the 2015 Iran nuclear deal by exceeding the amount of low-enriched uranium it is allowed to store, and threatened to begin enriching uranium at higher levels than allowed under the agreement unless the UK and other European signatories take urgent steps to significantly reduce the impact of US sanctions on Iran by the end of this week.