Iran Revolutionary Guard on Sunday seized a British tanker which the country said was smuggling oil to some Arabian state. Earlier last month, the state also seized another British oil tank as it made its way through the Strait of Hormuz. Iranian officials said the seizure was justified as Iran seeks to maintain “international maritime laws”. The series of seizure follows Britain’s detaining of oil tanker from Iran near the coast of Gibraltar. Britain maintained the Iranian tanker was headed to Syria in violation of international sanctions.
In another development, the UK is seeking to establish a maritime protection mission led by Europe to facilitate safe passage of oil transport through the Strait of Hormuz after Iran seized the British oil tanker Stena Impero. Britain also seek to raise awareness against UK shipping passing through Iranian waters. On the interim, UK plans to send in a destroyer to help protect vessels passing through the Strait of Hormuz.
While passing through the Strait of Hormuz, the British tanker Stena Impera was surrounded by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as it made its way to a port in Saudi Arabia. UK officials have said its royal navy frigate attempted to rescue the shipping vessel but couldn’t make it to the scene on time. On another unrelated event, a Liberian-flagged vessel was boarded by Iranian officials on Friday. The vessel was connected to British company, Norbulk Shipping. It was later released.
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