Iran Guards seize British-flagged tanker in Strait of Hormuz

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TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran s revolutionary Guards said Friday they’d seized a British-flagged tanker within the Strait of Hormuz for breaking “international maritime rules” as tensions mount within the highly sensitive waterway.

Britain however said Iran had seized two ships in the Gulf, with overseas Secretary Jeremy Hunt caution of “severe results” if the problem became no longer resolved quick.

The British owner of one of the tankers, the Liberian-flagged Mesdar, stated the deliver have been temporarily boarded by using armed personnel, but become now free to leave.

The modern day incident came as President Donald Trump insisted Friday that the usa navy had downed an Iranian drone that become threatening an American naval vessel in the Strait of Hormuz, in spite of denials from Tehran.

The Stena Impero tanker “turned into confiscated… for failing to appreciate global maritime regulations,” the Guards legit website Sepahnews said.

The tanker “became led to the shore and handed over to the agency to go through the criminal method and required investigations,” it stated.

Tanker tracking carrier Marine site visitors showed that the Swedish-owned Stena Impero last signalled its vicinity near the Island of Larak in the enormously sensitive waterway at nine:00 PM local time (1630 GMT).

The deliver changed into transiting the Strait of Hormuz and in “international waters” while it become “attacked by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter,” the owner stated.

“we are currently unable to touch the vessel that is now monitoring as heading north toward Iran,” a statement said.

Hunt stated he changed into “extremely worried” through the seizure of vessels inside the Strait — thru which nearly a third of the sector s oil is transported.

“we are actually clean that if this situation is not resolved quick there may be critical effects,” he advised Sky news beforehand of an emergency ministerial COBRA assembly.

Britain confirmed that one of the boats seized was British-registered.

Norbulk delivery, the proprietor of the alternative vessel said it changed into now free to keep its voyage with all group “safe and well”.

The corporation said the Mesdar became boarded with the aid of armed personnel at round 1630 GMT, however they’d left by using 2000 GMT.

Iran s Fars news agency stated that senior military officers rejected reviews that the Liberian-flagged tanker has been seized, stressing that the Stena Impero was the most effective overseas deliver under Iranian custody.

The incident got here hours after Gibraltar s supreme court docket said it’d enlarge through 30 days the detention of an Iranian tanker seized two weeks ago on allegations that it become heading to Syria in violation of sanctions.

Tensions in the Gulf have soared in recent weeks, with Trump calling off air moves against Iran on the last minute in June after Tehran downed an American drone, and blaming Iran for a chain of tanker attacks — expenses the Islamic Republic denies.

Hours earlier than the latest incident, Iran and the usa were caught in a new warfare of words.

Trump on Friday reiterated a claim that Washington added down an Iranian drone that become threatening an American vessel, the u.s.Boxer inside the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran categorically denied the allegation and deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi tweeted that American forces may also have shot down a US drone by using mistake.

Trump s country wide safety guide John Bolton stated there has been “no question that this turned into an Iranian drone”.

The modern Guards launched a video Friday which they said belies the united states claims.

The seven-minute-long pictures, apparently shot from high altitude, indicates a convoy of ships which the Guards stated they have been monitoring as they handed via the Strait of Hormuz.

The vessels in the pictures could not be without delay diagnosed, even though one looks much like the united statesBoxer.

in advance a US respectable stated Washington has “very clear evidence” that it downed the drone but gave no in addition details.

“if you fly too close to our ships, you re going to get shot down,” the legitimate said.

As tensions bounce, Tehran s arch rival Saudi Arabia introduced Friday that it’d yet again host US troops on its soil to enhance regional safety, its defence ministry said.

The cutting-edge escalation comes greater than a year after Washington unliterally withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement and began ratcheting up sanctions towards Tehran.

On Friday Trump spoke with French chief Emmanuel Macron, the White residence stated, with the leaders discussing “ongoing efforts to make sure Iran does now not achieve a nuclear weapon.”

earlier this month, Iran purposely overshot the deal s caps on uranium enrichment, aiming to pressure the ultimate events to make proper on their guarantees to help prop up its economic system.

Iran has time and again threatened to shut the Strait of Hormuz if it’s miles attacked.

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