STOCKHOLM, Sweden (NBC) – Speaking at the Stockholm International Peace Institute Wednesday, the Iranian foreign minister accused the United States of committing economic terrorism.
He said the United Kingdom had acted at the request of the United States when an Iranian tanker was seized at a British overseas territory last month.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, “On the law of the sea. Iran is not a party to the 1982 Law of the Seas, because of the differences that we had with them. So is the United States. We’re not a party to it and we have never been a party to it. We’re a signatory but we never joined the law of the sea. But if you talk about freedom of navigation, you need to talk about the piracy of our ship in Gibraltar.”
Zarif went on, “So this was clearly an act on behalf of the United States engaging in economic terrorism against Iran, and as I said, international law must be respected by all.”
The U.S. Department of State reiterated its position this Monday that the ship was “transporting illicit oil to fuel the Iranian regime’s and Syrian regime’s campaigns of terror and oppression.”
It also said that companies and mariners who assist it could be considered to be providing material support to a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization.