Adel Al-Jubeir
Adel Al-JubeirReuters

Saudi Arabia on Sunday slammed Iran's seizure of a British-flagged tanker in the Persian Gulf waters as "completely unacceptable", AFP reported.

"Any attack on the freedom of navigation is a violation of international law," said Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir in a post on Twitter.

"Iran must realize that its acts of intercepting ships, including most recently the British ship, are completely unacceptable," he added.

Iran on Friday seized the Stena Impero tanker. Iran’s Fars news agency said the Revolutionary Guards had taken control of the Stena Impero after it collided with an Iranian fishing boat whose distress call it ignored.

Friday’s incident came two weeks after the British naval force seized an Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar on suspicion that it was carrying crude oil to Syria, in violation of EU sanctions.

The detention of the tanker angered Iran, which condemned the move as an "illegal interception" and summoned the British ambassador in protest.

On Saturday, Britain denounced Iran’s seizure of the oil tanker as a “hostile act”. In a letter to the UN Security Council, Britain said the tanker was approached by Iranian forces when it was in Omani territorial waters exercising its lawful right of passage.

Oman, meanwhile, on Sunday called on Iran to release the Stena Impero.

The Gulf state, which unlike Saudi Arabia maintains strong ties with Iran, urged London and Tehran to resolve their dispute through diplomacy.

Oman "looks forward to the Iranian government's release of the British ship", the foreign ministry said on Twitter, according to AFP.