Iranian FM welcomes tanker release in Gibraltar

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-19 21:22:15|Editor: Xiaoxia
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HELSINKI, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday welcomed the end of the seizure of the tanker Grace 1 (renamed Adrian Darya 1) in Gibraltar.

Asked to comment on the reports that the ship is going to Greece to offload its cargo, Zarif said Iran cannot be very transparent about the transport of its oil because of the U.S. sanctions.

Zarif talked to the media in Helsinki on Monday after talks with Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto.

Asked if Finland could mediate between the U.S. and Iran, Zarif said that for a mediation there should be some ground. He described Finland as an old friend of Iran and now in the role of the the president of the Council of the EU.

Zarif said that "Helsinki represents the possibility of replacing confrontation with dialogue". Zarif also warned of the possibility that the window for negotiations might be closing.

During the visit to Finland Zarif also had talks with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and representatives of the Finnish mediation organization, Crisis Management Initiative.

Haavisto noted that Europe has played a constructive role on the Iran issues. He recalled that after the nuclear agreement Finland sent a business delegation to Iran, but circumstances for such cooperation have since worsened.

Haavisto said Finland had maintained contact with Iran on the circumstances of the Latvian sailors on the British registered tanker held in Iran.

Commenting on the would-be role of Finland, he said "Finland can offer a good atmosphere anyway".