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U.S. calls for Iran to release South Korean-flagged tanker

·1 min read

WASHINGTON, Jan 4 (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department called on Iran on Monday to immediately release a South Korean-flagged tanker that it seized in the Gulf and accused Tehran of threatening freedom of navigation as a way to extract relief from economic sanctions.

"The (Iranian) regime continues to threaten navigational rights and freedoms in the Persian Gulf as part of a clear attempt to extort the international community into relieving the pressure of sanctions. We join the Republic of Korea's call for Iran to immediately release the tanker," said a State Department spokesperson on condition that they not be identified. (Reporting By Arshad Mohammed and Daphne Psaledakis Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)