Iran Says It Has Seized Another Oil Tanker in Persian Gulf – The New York Times

American officials have said that the foreign minister is part of a “propaganda arm” for Iran. But experts said the sanctions would make it more difficult to engage in any new diplomacy. Iranian officials called the move petty and provocative.

Iran and the West has been embroiled in a dispute over shipping near the Strait of Hormuz as European countries scramble to save the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran after President Trump pulled the United States out of the accord last year.

Britain seized an Iranian tanker, the Grace 1, off the coast of Gibraltar in July, saying it suspected the ship had been headed to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions. Iran called the seizure an act of piracy, and accused Britain of acting at the behest of Washington.

Later that month, Revolutionary Guards troops also detained a British-flagged tanker, the Stena Impero, near the Strait of Hormuz, accusing it of violating “three international naval regulations.”

Iran appeared to link the British seizure of its tanker and the ailing nuclear deal, pressing Europe to make good on the promised financial benefits of the 2015 agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or J.C.P.O.A.

“Since Iran is entitled to export its oil according to the J.C.P.O.A., any impediment in the way of Iran’s export of oil is actually against the J.C.P.O.A.,” Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araghchi, said after emergency talks in Vienna a week ago.

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