A British flagged tanker has been seized by Iran as it was heading toward Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf. The vessel has been identified as the ‘Stena Impero’ which according to public tracking data was expected at the port of Al Jubail in Saudi Arabia; however, on Friday it dramatically veered off course and began sailing directly into Iranian waters.
Iran state media has confirmed the IRGC announced it has “captured a British tanker in the Persian Gulf” because the vessel was “violating international regulations”. CNN is reporting that US officials have confirmed Iran captured the British vessel in the Strait of Hormuz. Tanker tracker republished in UK Defence Journal showing the Stena Impero erratically changing course toward Iran on Friday.
The UK Defence Journal first reported based on satellite tracking: “The British flagged ‘Stena Impero’ has taken a very sudden turn into Iranian waters despite her original destination being Saudi Arabia, according to data relayed by maritime tracking services.”
“The vessel is now apparently heading to Qeshm in Iran but had been originally sailing towards Al Jubail in Saudi Arabia,” according to the breaking report.
Crucially, this comes just as UK officials have confirmed authorties in Gibraltar will detain the tanker ‘Grace 1’ – first seized early this month by UK Royal Marines – for another 30 days.
Iran had promised to retaliate in kind, following the confirmed detention of a UAE-based Panamanian flagged vessel, the Riah, this week.
Oil prices spiked on the news…
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