04:17 GMT +311 December 2019
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     An Iranian Revolutionary Guard member walks onboard of Stena Impero, a British-flagged vessel owned by Stena Bulk, in Bandar Abbas port, Iran July 21, 2019. Picture taken July 21, 2019

    Rouhani Hopes Johnson Will Remove Obstacles in UK-Iran Relations

    © REUTERS / Fars News Agency/ WANA
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed hope that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's familiarity with the relations between Tehran and London would help remove obstacles in the development of bilateral ties.

    "I hope that Your Excellency’s familiarity with relations between Iran and the United Kingdom, and your only one visit to Tehran greatly contribute to removing the existing obstacles on the path of development of relations between the two countries," Rouhani's congratulatory letter to Johnson read.

    Johnson, former UK foreign secretary, took over as prime minister on 24 July after winning the Conservative leadership vote.

    Earlier on Sunday, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesperson and senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi spoke during the JCPOA meeting in Vienna, condemning the seizure of his country's Grace 1 oil tanker as a violation of the Iran nuclear deal.   

    Oil supertanker Grace 1, that's on suspicion of carrying Iranian crude oil to Syria, is seen in waters of the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, historically claimed by Spain, July 4, 2019
    © REUTERS / UK Ministry of Defence
    Oil supertanker Grace 1, that's on suspicion of carrying Iranian crude oil to Syria, is seen in waters of the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, historically claimed by Spain, July 4, 2019

    On the same day, the UK announced that its second warship, the HMS Duncan, had arrived in the Persian Gulf to escort British vessels until the end of August. 

    UK-Iranian relations have recently deteriorated after Iran's Grace 1 oil tanker had been seized by the Gibraltar and UK marines over alleged breach of EU anti-Syrian sanctions. Two weeks later the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps seized the UK-flagged Stena Impero oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz over alleged breach of international maritime regulations.

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