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01:28

Syria: Assad accuses UK government of 'piracy' *EXCLUSIVE* *PARTNER CONTENT*

Syrian Arab Republic, Damascus
November 10, 2019 at 05:59 GMT +00:00 · Published

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accused the British government of "piracy" in the excerpt of an RT interview filmed in Damascus on Thursday. The full interview will hit the channel on Monday.

"This is piracy by the United Kingdom regime, and this is the core meaning of the word regime, because regime, and piracy, and gangs is something similar," Assad said.

The Syrian president was referring to British Royal Marines seizing the Iranian supertanker the Adrian Darya, previously known as the Grace 1, in July near Gibraltar, saying it was on route to sell Iranian crude oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions.

The tanker was released in August when a deal was reached with Tehran reportedly giving assurances the cargo would not be delivered to Syria. In the following days, the ship allegedly deactivated its positioning system and was reportedly spotted off the coast of Syria in September.

"The Iranian government said that it was heating oil for Syria," said RT journalist Afshin Rattansi, who asked Assad if EU sanctions would "hit the poorest people of Syria this winter."

Assad accused the UK of attempting to affect the Syrian people in a "last-ditch attempt" to push them to "rise against their government."

"But they tried it last winter, and they tried it before and it did not work, because the people knew the whole story and they knew where their interests lay," he said.

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accused the British government of "piracy" in the excerpt of an RT interview filmed in Damascus on Thursday. The full interview will hit the channel on Monday.

"This is piracy by the United Kingdom regime, and this is the core meaning of the word regime, because regime, and piracy, and gangs is something similar," Assad said.

The Syrian president was referring to British Royal Marines seizing the Iranian supertanker the Adrian Darya, previously known as the Grace 1, in July near Gibraltar, saying it was on route to sell Iranian crude oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions.

The tanker was released in August when a deal was reached with Tehran reportedly giving assurances the cargo would not be delivered to Syria. In the following days, the ship allegedly deactivated its positioning system and was reportedly spotted off the coast of Syria in September.

"The Iranian government said that it was heating oil for Syria," said RT journalist Afshin Rattansi, who asked Assad if EU sanctions would "hit the poorest people of Syria this winter."

Assad accused the UK of attempting to affect the Syrian people in a "last-ditch attempt" to push them to "rise against their government."

"But they tried it last winter, and they tried it before and it did not work, because the people knew the whole story and they knew where their interests lay," he said.

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