Iran seized two British oil tankers on Friday in the Strait of Hormuz, a new escalation of tensions between Tehran and the West.
The British-flagged Stena Impero with a crew of 23 was on board While crossing the Strait of Hormuz while the ship was in international waters, it was approached by unidentified small ships and a helicopter, "it says a statement by Stena Bulk, the shipping company that owns the ship. "At present, we can not connect to the ship now heading north toward Iran."
The Iranian Revolutionary Guards said on their website that the ship had been confiscated for "non-compliance with international maritime laws and regulations." and will be taken to an unnamed Iranian port, according to the Associated Press. Sites tracking the ship's path showed that the ship was turning sharply towards the Iranian island of Qeshm, rather than towards its intended destination, Saudi Arabia.
"We are urgently looking for more information and assess the situation after reports of an incident at the Gulf." A spokesman for the British government told Fox News.
About an hour later, a tanker operated by a British company under the Liberian flag was also seized by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
"I am deeply concerned about the seizure of two naval vessels by Iranian authorities in the Strait of Hormuz," said British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt in a statement on Friday, adding that the crews of both ships "are from a number of ships However, we understand that there are no British citizens on either ship. "
" Our Ambassador in Tehran is in contact with the Iranian Foreign Ministry to cooperate I have the situation and we work closely with international partners, "said Hunt. "These seizures are unacceptable and it is important to preserve the freedom of navigation and to allow all ships in the region to move safely and freely."
President Trump said on Friday that Iran is "nothing but trouble" and that "we heard one we heard two," tankers were confiscated.
"Iran shows color," the president told reporters before leaving the White House to spend the weekend at his golf club in Bedmister, New Jersey. "Iran is currently in big trouble Your economy is collapsing it's going to collapse … it's very easy to get along or it's very easy for us to make it worse. "
" This is the second time in just over a week that the UK has been is the target of escalating violence by the Iranian regime, "said National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis. "The US will continue to work with our allies and partners to defend our security and interests against Iran's evil behavior."
The Pentagon has no official statement on the situation, but Fox News has learned that there are no current plans for the US Naval ships are supposed to escort merchant ships across the Straits.
Stena Bulk says, "No injuries have been reported, and their safety is of the utmost importance to owners and managers."
The seizures took place two weeks after the seizure of the British Royal Marines A Tanker off the island of Gibralter, which the authorities said had transported oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions. Iran warned Britain not to "impact" seizure, which is described as "mean and wrong". Last week, a British warship prevented three Iranian ships from confiscating another British-flagged tanker.
Bob, UK's Chamber of Shipping Sanguinetti stated in a statement that the seizure was "in breach of international rules protecting ships and their crew in the course of their legitimate business in international waters," and urged the British government to "do everything necessary." to ensure safety and security Rapid return of the ship's crew.
Early on Friday, Iran and the United States disagreed over Washington's claim that a US warship had shot down an Iranian drone near the Persian Gulf. while Iran said it just did not happen.
No side provided evidence to prove his allegation.
President Trump said at the White House on Friday about the Iranian drone: "We shot them down." But Pentagon and other officials have repeatedly said that the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer actually disrupted and crashed the drone's signal and did not fire a rocket. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity about sensitive technologies.
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"There is no question that this was an Iranian drone, and the USS Boxer took it out as the President announced yesterday because it posed a threat to the ship and its crew, "said National Security Advisor John Bolton. "That's completely true."
In Tehran, the Iranian military said all its drones had returned safely to their bases and denied that there had been a confrontation with the USS Boxer.
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