Tags: Iran

British-flagged tanker seized by Iranian forces in Strait of Hormuz


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Tensions have escalated yet again in the Middle East following the seizure of a British-flagged tanker by Iranian forces in the Strait of Hormuz.

The Stena Impero was seized by Iranian Revolutionary Guards on Friday 19 July after Tehran said it was “violating international maritime rules”.

Dramatic footage shows the vessel being raided whilst Royal Navy ship, HMS Montrose attempts to warn off the armed forces. The Stena Impero is now being held in the port of Bandar Abbas, in southern Iran.

The 23 crew members, who hail from India, Russia, Latvia and the Philippines have been taken off the ship for questioning.

It is suspected that the seizure of the Stena Impero is in retaliation for British involvement in the raid of the Iranian tanker, Grace 1 off Gibraltar two weeks earlier.

Former British Military Intelligence Officer, Philip Ingram MBE commented: “Whatever the next step is, it will by default be seen by the Iranians as escalatory. We are entering a very dangerous phase that would tax the most experienced and hardened of Prime Ministers, never mind a new one who is just about to start.

“The one conclusion from all of this is that it will be very difficult to unpick, it is likely the Stena Impero will be in Iranian waters for quite some time to come. Any next step is likely to enflame tensions further and I suspect activity in Portsmouth will be increasing rapidly to prepare more ships for sea. It is not a good time for Royal Navy personnel if they have annual leave booked.”

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