Question asked by Lord Maginnis in the House of Lords:

What assessment have HMG made of the statement by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that Iran intends to use its “committed forces” to respond to the seizure of the Iranian tanker Grace 1 by the Royal Navy near Gibraltar on 4 July. 

Answered by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:

We are concerned by Iranian threats to disrupt shipping and are working hard to ensure ships are able to move freely and safely. The UK is focused on de-escalation and we continue to urge the Iranian authorities to reduce tensions.

The former Foreign Secretary spoke to Foreign Minister Zarif on 13 July to discuss the importance of finding a resolution to the current situation.

We have been clear that Gibraltar’s action, with UK assistance, to detain the Grace 1 tanker was to enforce EU Syria sanctions in Gibraltar’s territorial waters on the basis that the oil was being transported to a sanctioned Syrian entity. The investigations being conducted around the Grace 1 remain a matter for the Government of Gibraltar.