Iran seizes UK-flagged tanker within the Gulf

Iran seizes UK-flagged tanker in the Gulf

Iran has seized a UK-flagged tanker within the Strait of Hormuz in a dramatic escalation of tensions between the Islamic republic and the west.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards mentioned late Friday that the ship, the Stena Impero, was “seized by Zone 1 of the guards’ naval forces” because it moved by means of the Strait of Hormuz. The assertion from the elite power added that the tanker “failed to watch the worldwide maritime guidelines and laws”.

The vessel’s proprietor, Stena Bulk, mentioned it was approached by “unidentified small crafts and a helicopter throughout transit of the Strait of Hormuz”. The Swedish-based firm mentioned it was unable to contact the ship, which has a crew of 23.

Brent crude, the worldwide oil benchmark, rose 1 per cent in late London buying and selling to $62.48 a barrel.

Tehran has repeatedly threatened to retaliate for the UK’s determination to grab an Iranian tanker suspected of smuggling oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions this month.

The UK’s defence ministry mentioned it was urgently investigating the potential interception of the Stena Impero.

“We’re urgently searching for additional data and assessing the scenario following stories of an incident within the Gulf,” a spokesperson for the MoD mentioned.

Final week, a Royal Navy frigate intervened to forestall Iranian forces impeding the passage of the tanker owned by BP, the UK power, group because it moved by means of the Gulf.

Iran dismissed claims it had tried to impede the BP vessel. However as tensions between the US and the Islamic republic have escalated, Washington and London have blamed Iran for sabotage assaults on six tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates in Might and June.

On Thursday, Donald Trump mentioned the US had introduced down an Iranian drone within the Gulf.

The Stella Impero was transiting one of many world’s busiest transport lanes on Friday when monitoring web sites confirmed it abruptly altering course and heading into Iranian waters. The guards mentioned the tanker had been handed over to Iran’s state-run Ports and Maritime Organisation.

The tanker’s seizure places the UK and Iran on collision course at a time when Britain has been working with different European international locations to de-escalate tensions.

The disaster within the Gulf was triggered by Mr Trump’s determination to unilaterally withdraw the US from the 2015 nuclear accord Iran signed with world powers.

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