Iran on Tuesday accused South Korea of holding $7 billion of its funds “hostage” but stressed that Tehran’s seizure of a Korean tanker in Gulf waters was not a tit-for-tat move.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on Monday sent out naval speedboats to seize the Hankuk Chemi with 20 crew aboard, accusing it of “breaking maritime environmental law”.
South Korea has demanded the release of the ship and dispatched its anti-piracy unit to the region.
“We are not hostage-takers,” Iran’s government spokesman Ali Rabiei told a press conference. “We are used to such allegations. But … it is the government of Korea that has taken over $7 billion of ours hostage on baseless grounds”.