MOSCOW (Sputnik) — US warships have stopped accompanying commercial vessels through the Strait of Hormuz, a Pentagon spokesman said Wednesday.
The move comes after the US Department of Defense announced that US warships would escort US and UK commercial vessels passing through the strait following Iran's seizure of Marshall Islands-flagged Maersk Tigris cargo ship, while it was navigating in the Strait of Hormuz on April 28.
"The mission has changed from 'accompany' to maritime security operations," Col. Steve Warren told reporters.
Maersk Tigris was reportedly seized at the request of Iran's Ports and Maritime Organization due to financial disputes with the owner of the ship.
The ship is currently anchored near the Iranian shore.
Tehran claims that the seizure of the ship was made in compliance with a court order, and declines any political reasons behind the move.