Iranian president warns UK of 'consequences' over oil tanker seized off Gibraltar

Wednesday 10th July 2019 16:15 BST

The Grace 1 was boarded by Royal Marines last week over accusations it was breaking sanctions by taking an estimated two million barrels of crude oil to Syria.

"You (Britain) are the initiator of insecurity and you will realise the consequences later," Rouhani said after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, the semi-official news agency Tasnim reported.

Tehran has called for the vessel, a supertanker, to be released immediately.

Mr Rouhani defended his government's decision to increase uranium enrichment, insisting it was for peaceful aims, such as fuelling power plants, and was within the framework of Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

On Monday, the UK called on Iran to "immediately stop and reverse all activities" which have put it in breach of its nuclear deal.

The Foreign Office said Tehran's announcement that it will start uranium enrichment above a limit of 3.67% put it in breach of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

It came on the same day Iran threatened to restart deactivated centrifuges and ramp up enrichment of uranium to 20% purity.

America has already pulled out of the historic JCPOA agreement and imposed sanctions on Iran, severely reducing its oil exports and damaging its economy.

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But in a sign that the deal may yet survive, Iran's foreign ministry praised French efforts to broker a peaceful resolution.

Spokesman Abbas Mousavi "welcomed France's role in reducing tension and implementing the accord".

"The French are part of efforts ... to keep the nuclear deal alive," Mr Mousavi was quoted as saying during the visit by Emmanuel Bonne, top diplomatic adviser to French president Emmanuel Macron.

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