Iran intercepts British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz

Brithish oil tanker

Tensions between London and Tehran grew this week after military vessels intercepted a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz.

The Ministry of Defense of the UK immediately stated its concerns, as it considered that the event was a violation of international rights.

The vessel – The British Heritage – was reportedly preparing to exit the Persian Gulf when armed Iranian ships tried to block its passage. This episode forced the Royal Navy vessel HMS Montrose to intervene in the matter. After a few verbal threats, the Iranian boats retreated.

A spokesperson for the British Ministry of Defense expressed his concern over this incident and urged Tehran authorities to deescalate the tension originated a few weeks ago.

Incidents related to oil transport

The most recent incident between the two nations occurred last week when supertanker Grace 1 was intercepted by a Royal Navy vessel in the Strait of Gibraltar, seemingly by request of the U.S.

Iran was accused of transporting oil to the Banyas refinery in Syria, violating EU sanctions. Iran denied that the ship was headed to Syria and summoned the British ambassador in protest.

On Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accused the United Kingdom of creating a climate of “insecurity in seas” after the events in Gibraltar, and warned of “consequences”. “The British are the initiator of insecurity in seas and we hope that they do not repeat this, because it will spread insecurity throughout the world.”

Despite the threats, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard denied the attempt to intercept the British oil tanker in the Persian Gulf, according to Fars news agency.

In recent months, there have been a few incidents in the Strait of Hormuz, which is used to transport a significant part of the world’s crude and oil products production.

Recently, the White House announced it would tighten economic sanctions against Iran, which have practically reduced its oil exports to zero. These sanctions are part of a maximum pressure strategy to force Iran to stop activities that, according to the U.S. government, undermine security in the Middle East. In this regard, it cites the recent attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and the shooting down of a U.S. unmanned drone when, according to Tehran, it entered its airspace for surveillance purposes. For its part, the Pentagon says the device was on a scouting mission on international waters.

For more information, check Energía16

See also: Britain seizes oil tanker in Gibraltar over violation of EU sanctions

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