Iran’s Revolutionary Guards announced on Friday that they had confiscated a British tanker in the strategic Strait of Hormuz for breaking ‘international maritime rules’.
The tanker was confiscated by the Revolutionary Guards at the request of Hormozgan Ports and Maritime Organisation when passing through the strait of Hormuz. it further said that the The tanker “was led to the shore and handed over to the organisation to go through the legal procedure and required investigations.”
The Swedish owners of the Stena Impero said that they have been unable to contact their vessel, which had 23 personnel on board and was “heading north towards Iran”. The Stena Impero sails under the UK flag and is registered in London.
A second British-owned Liberian-flagged tanker was boarded by armed guards but is now free to continue its journey. The Mesdar’s Glasgow-based operator said communication had been re-established with the vessel after it was boarded by armed guards on Friday and its crew was “safe and well”.
These latest developments come amid heightened tensions between the UK, the US, and Iran.
Condemning the incidents as “unacceptable” … British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he was “extremely concerned” by the incidents. He further added that London would respond in a considered but robust way to the seizure of the British tankers by Iranian guards, and warned that Tehran would be the biggest loser if freedom of navigation is restricted.