British Royal Navy Ship Prevented Rogue Iranian Revolutionary Guard Boats from Illegally Blocking British Oil Tanker in Strait of Hormuz; Iran Denies Allegations

  • According to the British Ministry of Defense and U.S. officials, five Iranian Revolutionary Guard boats tried to block a British oil tanker, the British Heritage, from passing through the Strait of Hormuz before a Royal Navy ship drove the boats off.
  • The Iranian boats moved in on the tanker and asked it to “stop in Iranian waters near the Strait, but backed off after a warning from the warship.”
  • The U.S. media reported “guns on HMS Montrose were trained on the Iranian boats as they were ordered to back off. The boats heeded the warning and no shots were fired.”
  • According to a spokesman, “HMS Montrose, a British frigate shadowing the BP-owned tanker, was forced to move between the three boats and the tanker.”
  • The British Heritage was reportedly near the island of Abu Musa, which is in disputed waters, but the HMS Montrose was said to have remained in international waters throughout the ordeal.
  • U.K. officials said Iran’s actions were “contrary to international law,” but Iran has vehemently denied the U.S. and British accounts of events.
  • A statement from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s navy read: “In the past 24 hours there has been no encounter with foreign ships including English ships.”
  • Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused Britain of making up the events to create tension and said the country’s allegations had “no value.”
  • This latest encounter “comes days after British Royal Marines seized an Iranian oil tanker, Grace 1, near Gibraltar, concerned that it was transporting oil to Syria in violation of sanctions.”
  • Iran has warned the U.K. to return the tanker or face repercussions, including having one of its tankers seized.
  • Tensions have heightened between the U.K. and Iran after the U.K. accused Iran of sabotaging several tankers last month.
  • Additionally, the U.K. is siding with the U.S. as its relationship with Iran has deteriorated ever since President Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and place fresh sanctions on the nation.

Reference Links

  • BBC: Strait of Hormuz: Iranian boats ‘tried to intercept British tanker’ READ
  • The Telegraph: Britain ‘recommends heightened security’ for ships in Straits of Hormuz after Iran tries to block oil tanker READ
  • National Review: U.K. Accuses Iranian Boats of Attempting to Block British Oil Tanker in Persian Gulf READ

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