Iran Seizes Second British Oil Tanker In Persian Gulf

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Iranian forces have reportedly seized a second British owned tanker in the Persian Gulf on Friday.

It comes shortly after the Stena Impero oil tanker was seized by the Revolutionary Guard in the Strait of Hormuz

The British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt confirmed that two naval vessels were seized by Iranian authorities.

He said: “I’m extremely concerned by the seizure of two naval vessels by Iranian authorities in the Strait of Hormuz”

I will shortly attend a COBRA meeting to review what we know and what we can do to swiftly secure the release of the two vessels – a British-flagged vessel and a Liberian-flagged vessel. 

The Liberian-flagged ship Mesdar owned by Shipping UK was bound for Saudi Arabia when it abruptly changed course and headed for the Iranian mainland on Friday evening.

RT reports: Tehran has not officially claimed the seizure of the Mesdar, unlike the earlier capture of the Stena Impero. That tanker was bound for the Saudi port of Al Jubail, but was approached by IRGC vessels and redirected to the island of Qeshm, Iranian media said.

There are 23 crew members aboard the Stena Impero. The number of crew on board the Mesdar is yet unknown.

Tehran and London have been at odds since July 4, when Royal Marines boarded and seized Iranian tanker Grace 1 off Gibraltar, accusing the ship of illegally transporting oil to Syria. Iranian authorities condemned the seizure as “piracy” and vowed to retaliate.

Niamh Harris
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