The detention of the British-flagged vessel by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard was in “clear violation of international law,” the UK Chamber of Shipping said as it maintained that the ship was in Omani waters when it was seized.
“The [Swedish-owned and British-flagged tanker] Stena Impero was outside Iranian waters and legitimately carrying out its business at the time of its seizure,” chamber CEO Bob Sanguinetti told journalists. He also stated that Tehran’s actions cannot be compared to the UK’s own seizure of a vessel carrying Iranian oil in the Strait of Gibraltar on July 4, as the latter was done “under international law.”
A suicide bomber killed at least eight people and injured 26 others in Dera Ismail Khan, a city in northwestern Pakistan, local officials said. The Sunday morning attack was claimed by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, an extremist Sunni Islamist movement, which said it was retaliation for the killings of two of its commanders by Pakistani troops a month ago.
A total of 63 Australian-made planes have been grounded around the world following the fatal crash of an aircraft in Sweden in which nine people died. The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority ordered the suspension of GA8 aircrafts by Victoria-based manufacturer GippsAero, pending Swedish and EU investigations into the July 14 incident.
The aircraft in Sweden was being used by a parachuting group when it crashed in what local officials described as one of the country’s worst aviation accidents.
The GA8 plane suspension order lasts until August 3.
A snap parliamentary election is being held in Ukraine on Sunday, with 22 political parties and hundreds of independent candidates competing for the 450 seats in the legislature. The outcome will determine how effective newly elected President Volodymyr Zelensky will be in enacting his policies. The previous parliament had fought tooth and nail against the political newcomer, who won the highest office in the country in a landslide in April. In particular, legislators have been refusing his requests to sack senior officials, stalling the transition of power.
The British authorities have accused the Iranian Navy, which seized a British-flagged oil tanker on Friday saying it had violated “international maritime rules,” of “illegally” interfering with the vessel’s passage. In a letter to the UN Security Council, cited by Reuters, the UK mission to the UN claimed that the tanker was sailing in Omani territorial waters at the time of its seizure by Iranian forces.
“The ship was exercising the lawful right of transit passage in an international strait as provided for under international law,” the mission said. In the account of the incident provided by Iran, the ship was seized for failure to abide by international maritime rules after an “accident” with an Iranian fishing boat. The Swedish-owned, UK-registered tanker was accused of ignoring a “distress signal” from the boat.
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UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt spoke to his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif on Saturday to express disappointment with how the conflict between the two nations over the detention of tankers was developing.
The British official said on Twitter Iran was not acting to de-escalate the situation and said British shipping must be protected. This week, Iran detained a British-flagged tanker in what is perceived as retaliation for British seizure of a supertanker carrying Iranian oil in Gibraltar. Zarif tweeted, “unlike the piracy in the Strait of Gibraltar,” Iran’s move was meant to uphold international maritime law.