Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who is Iran's former deputy foreign minister and who currently serves as special assistant to the speaker of the majlis, said in a July 8, 2019 interview on Al-Araby TV (U.K.) that he had posted a tweet accusing the Mossad and American intelligence agencies of attacking the Japanese oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz on June 19, 2019, because Israel, America, and Saudi Arabia stand to gain from tensions in the region. He explained that it is unreasonable that Iran would have targeted a Japanese tanker during the Japanese prime minister's first visit to Tehran since the Islamic Revolution. Abdollahian also said that Britain made a "big mistake" by seizing the Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar on July 4, 2019. He claimed that this was an act of piracy and that Britain should promptly apologize to the Iranian people. He added that Iran might "reciprocate" if Britain does not reconsider its decision.
Interviewer: "You are very active on Twitter, and you wrote – very clearly – that the Mossad and the American intelligence agencies are responsible for the oil tanker accidents near Oman and in the [Persian] Gulf. Do you have proof of this?"
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian: "It is reasonable that Iran would have targeted a Japanese oil tanker during the Japanese PM's first visit to Tehran in 41 years and since the Islamic Revolution? Is this reasonable? It was done by whoever has the most to gain. Israel gains from encouraging the U.S. to enter a military conflict with Iran. Saudi Arabia gains because Muhammad bin Salman has been trying for some time to promote a military conflict between the U.S. and Iran. Those who benefit [from this] have an interest in destabilizing the region's security."
Interviewer: "If we are talking about the Gulf region and about oil tankers, I can't help but ask about the Iranian oil tanker that was seized by British forces in Gibraltar. How do you view this issue, especially since Britain is still part of the nuclear deal, and since it says that it is committed to it?"
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian: "I think that Britain has made a big mistake by seizing the Iranian oil tanker. Therefore, Britain must apologize before the Iranian people, because it has not managed to uphold its commitments in the nuclear deal. What the British government has done is an act of piracy, and it should apologize to Iran as quickly as possible."
Interviewer: "You threatened to do the same [to Britain]..."
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian: "Of course. If Britain does not reconsider its decision... Today's world is a world of reciprocity, and Iran shall not stand idly by."