Rouhani warns of 'repercussions' over British detention of oil tanker

A British soldiers are seen during an operation involving the oil supertanker Grace 1 that's on suspicion of carrying Iranian crude oil to Syria in waters off the British overseas territory of Gibraltar historically claimed by Spain

A day earlier, Major General Mohammad Bagheri, Iran's armed forces chief of staff, told the Tasim news agency that Tehran will give an "appropriate answer" to Britain following their actions.

Grace 1 tanker, capable of carrying two million barrels of oil, was halted on Thursday by police and customs in Gibraltar - a tiny British overseas territory on Spain's southern tip - with the aid of a detachment of British Royal Marines.

Iran is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad's government, which is under Western sanctions linked to attacks on civilians during the country's civil war.

The accord between Iran and world powers, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), promised sanctions relief, economic benefits and an end to worldwide isolation in return for stringent curbs on the Islamic Republic's nuclear programme.

He also described the downing of the stealth American drone as a testimony to Iran's growing military power, adding, "Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran enjoys the necessary power in the missile, naval and air defense spheres, and this fact has posed a serious challenge to one of the enemy's strong points, namely its aerial and missile capability".

Iran denied this, saying that the destination "was somewhere else".

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"You (Britain) are the initiator of insecurity and you will realize the consequences later", Rouhani said as quoted by Reuters.

The tanker's detention comes at a particularly sensitive time as tensions between the USA and Iran are rising over the unraveling of the 2015 nuclear deal, from which President Trump withdrew past year. Emmanuel Bonne, a French presidential envoy, is in Iran this week for talks aimed at resolving the crisis. You should instead allow navigation to be safe'.

The territory's government said in a statement Monday that the tanker was "well inside" British Gibraltar Territorial Waters when it was boarded, having "previously exited the global waters of the Straits of Gibraltar".

A senior Iranian security official said Wednesday that Iran will not reverse its decision to increase uranium enrichment beyond the limits set by the accord until it achieves its "full rights" under the deal.

Iran has condemned the British government's move as "maritime piracy" and summoned Britain's ambassador three times in protest.

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