Iran Summons UK Envoy over “Unfounded” Tanker Accusations

FILE PHOTO: Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif shake hands with British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, in Tehran, Iran, November 19, 2018. REUTERS

DUBAI, June 15 (Reuters) Iran on Saturday summoned the British ambassador to Tehran after London blamed it for attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, the semi-official Students News Agency ISNA reported, a claim denied by the British government.

“During the meeting with Iran‘s foreign ministry official, Iran strongly condemned the unfounded allegations and criticised Britain’s unacceptable stance regarding the attacks in the Gulf of Oman,” it said.

The ambassador was asked for an explanation and correction after Britain was the only nation to echo U.S. accusations, ISNA reported.

A British foreign ministry official said the report was wrong and the ambassador has not been summoned.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt issued a statement on Friday blaming Iran and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for the attacks, saying no other state or non-state actor could have been responsible.

Iran has denied any involvement.

The attacks have raised fears of a confrontation in the vital oil shipping route of the Strait of Hormuz at a time of increased tension between Iran and the United States.

(Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Hugh Lawson, Andrew Cawthorne and Diane Craft)