Iranian foreign ministers Zarif arrives in Sweden in first stop on Scandinavian tour

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will meet his Swedish counterpart today as part of a Scandinavian tour, where maritime

zarif

Photo: AP/Ebrahim Noroozi

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will meet his Swedish counterpart today as part of a Scandinavian tour, where maritime security in the Persian Gulf is likely to feature.

Iran has been locked in a tit-for-tat escalation of tensions, seizing a Swedish-owned vessel—the Stena Impero—in the Strait of Hormuz on July 19 after British authorities detained an

Iranian-owned oil tanker in Gibraltar on July 4. While the UK claimed that Iran had violated EU’s sanctions by shipping oil to Syria, Spanish foreign minister Josep Borrell had contradicted the stance, saying the British had seized the vessel at USA’s request.

The US has also imposed strict sanctions on Mr Zarif, barring him from the country. Dialogue between Washington and Tehran is now at a standstill, having been exacerbated after Iran downed an American drone in the Strait of Hormuz on June 20.

As Stockholm is now a direct party to the tensions between Iran and the West—particularly the US and UK—it is likely to offer mediation to begin diplomatic dialogue regarding the treatment of vessels in international waters.

Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.