“Only, as we said before: it wasn’t ours. But sb else’s oil has certainly been stolen. No one civilized brags abt stealing,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh wrote in a post to his Twitter account on Friday.
He was reacting to an announcement by the US on Thursday that it had sold approximately 1.1 million barrels of Venezuela-bound “Iranian” oil seized in August for more than $40 million, Press TV reported.
The US Justice Department said at the time that “these actions represent the government’s largest-ever seizure of fuel shipments from Iran.” Tehran, however, rejected the claim that the seized crude oil shipments belonged to Iran.
Khatibzadeh further said US officials are acting like “the Pirates of the Caribbean,” in a wordplay using the name of a popular American movie, adding that they are even openly boasting about their “booty.”
“No one civilized brags abt stealing,” the Iranian official said.
Back in August, Iranian officials said Washington’s claims were in fact an attempt to portray the seizure as a victory against Tehran after the US failed to stop five Iranian tankers from delivering badly needed fuel Venezuela in May.
Tehran also described the reported seizure of Iranian crude as an “act of psychological warfare” meant to compensate for the US administration’s “humiliation and defeat by Iran using false propaganda.”
Elsewhere in his comments, Khatibzadeh referred to all the sanctions that the US has imposed on Iran as part of its so-called maximum pressure campaign, saying the administration of US President Donald Trump is running out of pressure tools in dealing with Iran.
US National Security Advisor Robert C. O'Brien has recently admitted that the “US has out-sanctioned its ability to inflict more pain on Iranian people.”
“One of the problems we have with both Iran and Russia is that we have so many sanctions on those countries right now that there’s very little left for us to do,” he said.
In a Twitter message, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reacted to O’Brien’s confession and said it’s “time for the US to finally admit it is a Sanction Addict.”
“Kick the habit. More economic warfare against Iran will bring the US less—and not more—influence,” Zarif said.