Iran Denies Trying To Seize UK Tanker In Persian Gulf After Military Close Encounter
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) denied reports that their patrol boats tried to stop a British oil tanker in the Persian Gulf, with IRGC’s naval unit stating that “there were no encounters between the Iranian warships and foreign vessels at the time when the incident is alleged to have taken place,” according to Fars News.
The IRGC also reiterated that they are prepared to “act swiftly and decisively” should they receive an order to capture any foreign ship.
London said three Iranian patrol boats attempted to stop its oil tanker, ‘British Heritage,’ as it was sailing through the Strait of Hormuz to the Persian Gulf. According to the British government statement, the Iranian vessels were forced to back away after receiving a warning from the Royal Navy frigate, HMS ‘Monrose,’ which was escorting another tanker in the area.
As reported previously, tensions between Tehran and London escalated last week when the Royal Marines and Gibraltar’s police seized a Panama-flagged and Singapore-owned supertanker near the Strait of Gibraltar. The ship was suspected of transporting oil to Syria in violation of the EU sanctions on Damascus.
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With the Persian Gulf uncharacteristically quiet in recent days, without any material provocation either real of staged, late on Wednesday CNN reported that three armed Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard boats unsuccessfully tried to seize a British oil tanker in the Persian Gulf. There was no independent verification of the report, but instead it was once again sourced to those who stands to gain the most from a way with Iran, namely “two US officials with direct knowledge of the incident.”
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