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Iran confiscates Stena Impero, a British-flagged oil tanker



Iranian media reported on Saturday that the ship, the Stena Impero, was captured by the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) of the country following an accident involving a fishing boat. Earlier, the IRGC said the vessel was being detained for "violating international regulations".

A second vessel, the Liberian-flagged MV Mesdar, was briefly detained by Iran but then released, US officials and the shipping company said. Iran said the ship had not been confiscated, only "stopped short and taught by the Iranian authorities," reported press television, citing unnamed Iranian military sources.

can move safely and freely in the region, "said British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt on Friday.

" We are absolutely certain that if this situation is not resolved quickly, it will have serious consequences, "he said Hunt. "We are not looking for military options, we are looking for a diplomatic way to resolve this situation. But we are very sure that it needs to be resolved. "

US President Donald Trump told reporters Friday that the US does not have many tankers in the region, but that the country has a robust military presence there. [19659006] Iran's actions on the road took place a few hours after the authorities in Gibraltar agreed to extend the detention of an Iranian oil tanker for 30 days, which was seized by the British authorities on 4 July, Grace 1, because they had attempted to transport oil to Syria in breach of European Union sanctions.

Observers had expected Iran to respond to Grace 1's seizure, and only last week the UK increased security for British ships in Persian Gulf.

"They (Iran) are doing so either in response to the capture of Grace 1 by Royal Marines and their participation a n Gibraltar … or they are doing it to deepen the tensions in the Gulf now because they want to "turn this conflict and this condition that is damaging to Iran on its head," said British legislator Bob Seely, member the British Foreign Affairs Committee.

An increase in tensions in the Strait of Hormuz could have dire consequences for the economy and security. Around 24% of the world's oil production is funded through the narrow passage. Only then can oil be shipped from the Persian Gulf. The US Energy Information Administration calls the Strait of Hormuz one of the "most important strategic bottlenecks in the world by volume of oil transit".

Richard Meade, managing editor of the influential shipping magazine Lloyds List, said the seizure of Stena Impero was "probably the highest security threat we've seen in the region since the late '80s".

  The Stena Impero

No British on board

Although the Stena Impero is registered in the United Kingdom, at the time of its seizure there were no British on board. The crew of 23 consisted of Indian, Russian, Latvian and Filipino nationals, according to the Swedish shipping company Stena Bulk and the Scottish shipowner Northern Marine Management.

The statement of the two companies states that their ship was first approached at 4:00 pm in the Strait of Hormuz in international waters with "unidentified small ships and a helicopter". Local time (12:00 CET).

More than six hours later, the ship was "no longer under the control of its crew" and "not contactable".

The Stena Impero was brought to the port of Bandar Abbas, according to Iranian news agency Fars. According to Fars, the crew will remain on board until an investigation of the accident is completed.

The Stena Impero seizure marks the recent incident in the Gulf region between Iranian, British and US forces.

On Thursday, the US Navy destroyed an Iranian drone using electronic jammers in the Strait of Hormuz, a US defense official, told CNN. The crew of the USS Boxer took defensive measures against the unmanned Iranian aircraft after it approached the US Navy ship, the official said.

  • Tensions in the Strait of Hormuz

  • 8. May 2018

  • 5. November, 2018

  • 8. April 2019

  • June 2019

  • 20. June 2019

    • Iran fires a US military drone. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard claims that the drone was shot down after entering the country's territory, while the US claims the drone was shot down in international airspace.
  • 24th June 2019

  • 1. July 2019

  • 4. July 2019

    • The Iranian oil ship Grace 1 is seized near Gibralter by British authorities. The authorities of Gibraltar had reason to believe that the ship "is carrying its crude oil supply to the Baniyas refinery in Syria", which violates EU sanctions, a statement said. Iran called the law "piracy".
  • 10th July 2019

  • 14. July 2019

  • 18. July 2019

    • US officials say the US Navy had destroyed an Iranian drone on a defensive with electronic jamming action after it had come too close to the naval ship USS Boxer. However, the Iranian authorities deny that one of their drones has been shot down.
  • 19th July 2019

    • Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) announces that its navy has captured British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero. She accuses the British tanker of "violating international regulations".
    • A second tanker, the Liberian-flagged MV Mesdar, was also confiscated, a US official told CNN.

Following the ship's confiscation on Friday, the United Kingdom convened a COBRA meeting – an emergency committee that meets in a national or international crisis. The United Kingdom has warned ships affiliated with the country's shipping industry to be "temporarily out of the region".

As of Friday evening, the US military oversaw the transit of a US commercial cargo ship through the Strait of Hormuz According to a US Defense official with direct knowledge of the situation, which initially used armed aircraft overhead.

The continuous monitoring of transit, which typically lasts six to eight hours, is mainly done by unarmed surveillance aircraft, which can engage other forces as needed.


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