Iran’s Navy Commander repudiates claims made by the Emirati ambassador to the US regarding the inspection of Iranian ships, saying Abu Dhabi does not dare intercept the country’s vessels.
In a September 16 letter to The New York Times, Yousef al-Otaiba claimed the UAE has “interdicted dozens of ships and inspected hundreds of shipments of Iran-bound cargos suspected of violating sanctions.”
“We will never allow such a country to inspect our ships,” Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said on Sunday, calling al-Otaiba’s claims propaganda.
“The naval force of Iranian army is prepared to defend the country’s interests in all [Iranian territorial] waters,” Mehr News Agency quoted Sayyari as saying.
Based on the recent US-engineered sanctions imposed on Tehran by the UN Security Council, countries have the authority to inspect cargo ships, heading to or from Iran, in their own territorial waters.
Sayyari warned that Iran is prepared to retaliate if its cargo ships come under inspection, and would do so whenever it is necessary.