PanARMENIAN.Net - Iran said on Tuesday (Jul 23) it will attend an urgent meeting with countries still party to the troubled nuclear deal, as it declared itself the 'guardian of security' in the Gulf amid a tanker crisis, AFP reports.
The planned Jul 28 meeting is aimed at salvaging the hard-won deal, on life-support since the United States withdrew from it last year and reimposed biting sanctions against Iran.
Amid rising hostilities with the United States, Iran';s Revolutionary Guards seized a tanker sailing under the flag of US ally Britain on Friday.
State television aired new footage of the crew aboard the Stena Impero tanker which Iran has impounded at the port of Bandar Abbas for allegedly breaking 'international maritime rules'.
In the video, the crew made up of 18 Indians, three Russians, a Latvian and a Filipino are seen sitting around a table on the ship and seemingly going about their daily routines.
The seizure of the Swedish-owned vessel has been seen as a tit-for-tat move after British authorities detained an Iranian oil tanker on Jul 4 in the Mediterranean on suspicion it was shipping oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions.
'Throughout history, Iran has been and will be the main guardian of security and free navigation' in the Gulf, President Hassan Rouhani said late on Monday in a meeting with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi.
'There is still no adequate and lasting stability and security in the region,' he added, emphasising that Tehran was not seeking to stoke tensions.