BANGKOK: Britain on Thursday ruled out exchanging an Iranian tanker detained by Gibraltar for a British-flagged tanker seized by Iran in the Gulf, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said while on a trip to the Thai capital Bangkok.
"We are not going to barter: if people or nations have detained UK-flagged illegally then the rule of law and rule of international law must be upheld."
"We are not going to barter a ship that was detained legally with a ship that was detained illegally: that's not the way that Iran will come in from the cold," he said. "So I am afraid some kind of barter or haggle or linkage is not on the table."
Tensions have spiked between Iran and Britain since after Iranian commandos seized a British-flagged tanker last month. That came after British forces captured an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar, accused of violating sanctions on Syria.
Meanwhile, Russia's foreign ministry said the US and European nations attempts to create a naval coalition to patrol the Strait of Hormuz is merely an attempt to pressurize Iran.