TEHRAN, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Iran does not accept the "political mediation" of a third country regarding the Republic of Korea (ROK)'s oil tanker Hankuk Chemi seized in early January by Tehran, since it is a "technical" affair, said on Sunday the spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry.
"As we said before, the oil tanker was seized due to the pollution of the marine environment in the Gulf, and this is an important issue all countries are sensitive about," spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in an interview with semi-official Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA).
Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani on Jan. 19 reportedly voiced Doha's readiness to facilitate dialogue between Iran and the ROK.
Iranian authorities, Khatibzadeh said in his interview with ISNA, have informed their ROK counterparts that Tehran will not accept a political mediation on a technical issue.
The Iranian spokesman also rejected claims that the Hankuk Chemi was seized to put pressure on Seoul in order to have the Iranian assets released, as observers have speculated.