Iran “tried to intercept a British tanker”, says UK Defence Ministry

Iran “tried to intercept a British tanker”, says UK Defence Ministry

The Strait of Hormuz has once again become the scene of international scandal, with the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) accusing Iran of trying to seize a British oil tanker.

According to the MoD, the HMS Montrose — a British frigate which was shadowing the BP-owned tanker — was forced to position itself between the tanker and three Iranian boats.

The boats, believed to belong to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), then dispersed and the tanker was able to continue unimpeded.

Tehran had threatened to retaliate to the seizure of one of its own tankers, but denies it has attempted to seize any ships.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has dismissed the allegations as being made “for creating tension”.

“These claims have no value,” Mr Zarif said, according to the Fars news agency.

Last week, British Royal Marines assisted Gibraltar in the seizure of an Iranian oil tanker because of evidence it was carrying oil to Syria in breach of European Union sanctions.

The tanker’s captain and chief officer have been arrested on suspicion of breaching EU sanctions, a spokesman for the Royal Gibraltar Police said on Thursday (local time), but added that neither had been charged.

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