Iran wants resolution, not escalation: UK’s Jeremy Hunt

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 Iran wants to resolve the ongoing crisis involving the UK seizure of an Iranian tanker and was "not seeking to escalate tensions," UK's Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt said on Saturday. (AFP)
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A picture shows supertanker Grace 1 off the coast of Gibraltar on July 6, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 14 July 2019

Iran wants resolution, not escalation: UK’s Jeremy Hunt

  • Jeremy Hunt:  Iran wants to resolve the ongoing crisis involving the UK seizure of an Iranian tanker
  • The UK's foreign minister said he told his Iranian counterpart that Britain would facilitate the release of the detained oil tanker if there were "guarantees" it would not go to Syria

LONDON: Iran wants to resolve the ongoing crisis involving the UK seizure of an Iranian tanker and was "not seeking to escalate tensions," UK's Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt said after a conversation with his Iranian counterpart. 

Speaking on Saturday, Hunt said Mohammad Javad Zarif had told him during their telephone conversation that Iran was seeking a resolution to the issue involving detained tanker Grace 1.

The UK's foreign minister said he told Zarif that Britain would facilitate the release of the detained oil tanker if there were "guarantees" it would not go to Syria.

After what he called a "constructive call" with Zarif, Hunt tweeted that the UK would "facilitate release" if the British government received guarantees that the tanker would not dock in Syria, "following due process in Gibraltar courts."

US officials believed the tanker was destined for Syria to deliver oil, in violation of separate sets of EU and US sanctions.

Tehran had reacted angrily to the seizure, and Britain this week said Iranian military vessels had tried to "impede the passage" of a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz.

Hunt said Gibraltar's Chief Minister Fabian Picardo was doing an "excellent job co-ordinating issue and shares UK perspective on the way forward".

Hunt also said he raised with Zarif the imprisonment of British-Iranian national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, and Zarif "said he would continue to seek to find a solution".


Sudan’s deposed Bashir questioned over 1989 coup: lawyer

Updated 52 min 38 sec ago

Sudan’s deposed Bashir questioned over 1989 coup: lawyer

KHARTOUM: Sudan’s former president Omar Al-Bashir appeared on Tuesday before a prosecutors’ committee over the 1989 coup that brought him to power, his lawyer said.
Bashir was “brought to be investigated in the case of the alleged 1989 coup,” said his lawyer, Mohamed Al-Hassan, who did not attend the hearing.
The lawyer also told reporters that in his view the hearing was “not a judicial matter, it’s a political matter.”
In 1989, Bashir, a brigadier at the time, seized power in an Islamist-backed coup that toppled the elected government of prime minister Sadiq Al-Mahdi.
The former president was himself ousted by the army in April of this year after months of nationwide protests against his iron-fisted rule of three decades.
On November 12, Sudanese authorities filed charges against Bashir and some of his aides for “plotting” the 1989 coup. The prosecution established a special committee for the case.
If found guilty, he could face the death penalty or life imprisonment under Sudanese law.
Sudan is now ruled by a joint civilian and military sovereign council, which is tasked with overseeing a transition to civilian rule as demanded by the protest movement.
Bashir is being held in Kober prison in a separate case, for which he has been on trial since August, on charges of illegally acquiring and using foreign funds.
A verdict is due in that case on Saturday.
On Tuesday, Bashir was taken from Kober prison to the prosecutor’s office in a convoy under strong armed protection.
After the hearing, which lasted about an hour, a crowd gathered in front of the prosecutor’s office, chanting “Kober prison — the best place for you!” and “you killed people!“
Wearing the traditional white Sudanese jalabiya and turban, Bashir raised his hands to the crowd, before he set off back toward Kober in the convoy.
The veteran leader is also wanted by The Hague-based International Criminal Court on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity over his role in the war in Sudan’s western Darfur region.
To date, Sudanese transitional authorities do not want to extradite the former leader to The Hague.