Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an August 5, 2019 address that aired on IRINN TV (Iran) that Iran has always been responsible for maintaining security in the Persian Gulf and in the Strait of Hormuz. He explained that Iran sometimes turns a blind eye to certain violations and crimes, and that the July 2019 seizure of the British oil tanker, Stena Imperio, was merely a case of Iran choosing to enforce regulations rather than to ignore the United Kingdom's piracy. He said that the issue of the Stena Imperio must therefore be looked into by Iran's courts.
Javad Zarif: "We are responsible for security in this region. We have always been the ones who have maintained security in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. While carrying out our duties of maintaining the security of the Persian Gulf, we have sometimes turned a blind eye towards some violations and crimes. Currently, we see no reason to act this way towards England, which is involved in piracy, in complete disregard of all regulations. Therefore, our measure was not an act of retaliation. We simply refrained from ignoring the violations. Now, because of the violations – about which the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran has filed a complaint – the [matter] of the English ship must be examined by Iran's courts."