TEHRAN A senior legislator condemned seizure of the Iranian oil tanker by London in Spanish territorial waters as illegal, calling it an act of robbery.
"As the positions of the foreign ministry and many political and international figures show, Britain's move is exactly an act of robbery," Asadollah Qareh-Khani said on Saturday.
He referred to the British officials' remarks that they have done the move at the request of the US, and said, "Stealing an Iranian oil tanker is not acceptable under any circumstances based on international logic and rationale."
Qareh-Khani said that the measure shows that Britain is not an independent country and is influenced by the US policies.
Citing a Spanish source, France 24 reported earlier that the Iranian tanker had been seized by Britain at the US request.
Later in the day, acting Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said Gibraltar detained the supertanker Grace 1 after a request by the United States to Britain.
Borrell was quoted by Reuters as saying that Spain was looking into the seizure of the ship and how it may affect Spanish sovereignty as it appears to have happened in Spanish waters.
Spain does not recognize the waters around Gibraltar as British.
Britain's Foreign Office did not respond to a request for comment.
Experts believe that the measure taken by the British government in seizing the Syria-bound Iranian tanker is illegal and can have serious consequences for the government in London.
According to a statement by the Iranian Foreign Ministry, British Ambassador to Tehran Rob Macaire appeared before the Director of the Third Department of Western Europe at the ministry who described the UK move as unacceptable, and called for the immediate release of the oil tanker, given that it has been seized at the request of the US, based on the information currently available.
Pointing to the fact that the oil tanker was sailing in the international waters, the Iranian diplomat described the British forces' conduct as being tantamount to maritime banditry and stressed that London has no right to impose its own unilateral sanctions or those of the European Union in an extraterritorial manner against the other countries.
This is the very bullying policy of the US, about which the European countries have been always protesting, he added.
In the meeting, the UK ambassador was provided with the documentation about the oil tanker and its cargo indicating the ship's completely legal movement.
It was also emphasized that the Islamic Republic of Iran will be employing all its political and legal capacities to secure the release of the vessel and uphold its rights.
The UK ambassador said he will immediately convey the protest to London, stressing that the UK does not follow the unilateral US sanctions against Iran.
Source: Fars News Agency