July 24, 2019 / 7:53 AM / 25 days ago

UK has sent mediator to Iran to seek freeing of seized tanker: senior Iranían official

FILE PHOTO: A boat of Iranian Revolutionary Guard sails next to Stena Impero, a British-flagged vessel owned by Stena Bulk, at Bandar Abbas port, July 21, 2019. Iran, Mizan News Agency/WANA Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

GENEVA (Reuters) - Britain has sent a mediator to Iran to discuss the freeing of a British-flagged tanker seized by the Islamic Republic last week, the head of the Supreme Leader’s office said on Wednesday, according to the semi-official Tasnim news site.

Tensions have spiked between Iran and Britain since the Islamic Republic last Friday seized the tanker, Stena Impero, saying it had collided with a fishing vessel.

Mohammad Mohammadi-Golpayegani provided no details about the British mediator’s trip but made an ironic reference to Britain’s involvement during colonial times in Iranian affairs.

“A country that at one time appointed ministers and lawyers in Iran has reached a point where they send a mediator and plead for their ship to be freed,” Mohammadi-Golpayegani said, according to Tasnim.

Reporting By Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Gareth Jones

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