Iranian Foreign Minister sends warning letter to UN about US threats to Iran oil tankers

Tehran [Iran], May 18 : Iran will retaliate if the United States takes action against fuel deliveries to Venezuela, country’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday.

“The US bears responsibility for the consequences of any illegal actions … Iran has the right to take any necessary measures to counter these threats,” Zarif was cited in a letter to UN as quoted by the Sputnik.
This letter comes at the backdrop of reports that the US was looking at possible measures against the oil shipments to Venezuela, which Washington considers illegal.

Following Zarif’s letter, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi summoned Swiss ambassador, who represents US interests in Iran, urging him to convey the country’s warning ahead regarding possible threats to Iranian tankers from the US.

Describing Iran-Venezuela trade relations as legal, he said that any coercive measures by the US are a threat to freedom of shipping, international trade and free flow of energy, IRNA reported.

Any action by the US will be considered as a gross violation of international law, contrary to the objectives and principles enshrined in the UN Charter, Zarif said.

He further warned that any threat against Iranian oil tankers would receive an immediate response from Iran and that the US government would be responsible for any such event.

The Swiss ambassador also announced that he would immediately convey the matter to US government officials.

Tensions have been rising between the two countries since US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal Iran struck with six major world powers.

Earlier this year, the US drone attack in Iraq killed Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, which further escalated the matter.

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