Tensions between Iran, the United Kingdom and the United States have flared up since 13 June, when two US oil tankers were attacked in the vicinity of the Strait of Hormuz. Washington pinned the blame on Iran for the incident, while Tehran vehemently denied its involvement.
A week later, a US drone was downed by Tehran; Iran insisted that the aircraft violated its airspace, prompting Washington to introduce sanctions against the nation's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
The situation worsened when a Syria-bound Iranian supertanker carrying oil was detained off Gibraltar citing breach of EU sanctions against Damascus.
Later on, Iranian media reported that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps had detained a foreign oil tanker amid reports that a Panamanian-flagged oil tanker from the United Arab Emirates had disappeared from radars. The claim was rejected by Tehran, which said that this was just a small smuggler ship, while Abu Dhabi denied the loss of its vessel.
The tensions continued to ramp up after US President Trump claimed that an Iranian drone had been downed near a US warship in the Strait of Hormuz. However, Tehran denied the allegation.
Most recently, Iran seized two vessels - one registered in the UK and the other in Liberia - citing a violation of international maritime rules. The Liberian-flagged ship was later released. The UK condemned the seizure of its ship as an 'unacceptable' move.
Earlier this month, Gibraltar authorities aided by the UK Royal Marines detained an Iranian tanker suspected of carrying oil to Syria in violation of sanctions.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian Embassy in Tehran said on Saturday that its diplomats have met with the Russian crew of the UK-flagged tanker Stena Impero that was detained by Iran last week and confirmed that the sailors are in good health and will remain on board for now.
Last Thursday, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps reported arresting a foreign oil tanker carrying illegal cargo in the Persian Gulf amid the disappearance of a Panama-flagged oil ranker, MT Riah, from radars near the UAE.
Scores of tankers transit through the Strait of Hormuz each day, and shippers are looking for ways to safeguard the oil trade in the wake of tit-for-tat tanker detentions between Iran and the UK.
Footage released earlier showed what appears to be an Iranian flag waving over a deck of a British-flagged tanker seized by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps in the Strait of Hormuz on 19 July.
The nuclear submarine is expected to conduct surveillance, while the marines could be deployed onto commercial vessels. The move comes after the detention of a UK-registered tanker by Iran marked another escalation of tensions in the volatile region.
The statement comes as UK Prime Minister Theresa May is preparing to chair an emergency security meeting on London’s possible response to Iran's seizure of a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz over what Tehran described as a breach of international maritime regulations.
The seizure of the ship has caused a major diplomatic spat in the already-volatile Strait of Hormuz region; the Stena Impero is currently docked in a southern Iranian port. Tehran is conducting a probe into the incident, saying that the tanker had violated maritime regulations.
LONDON (Sputnik) - The UK Permanent Mission to the United Nations has submitted a letter on Sunday to the UN Secretary-General and Security Council President with a "factual update" on the incident with the UK-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero seized by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz and called upon Tehran to release the vessel.
MOSCOW, (Sputnik) - The sailors of the UK-flagged tanker captured by Iran are in good health, a spokesman for the Russian Embassy stated after contacting the Iranian authorities.
CAIRO (Sputnik) - Pakistan remains a US ally and a responsible neighbor to Iran and is ready to act as a mediator in a standoff between the two powers, a Pakistani senator has told on Sunday.
Washington has had trouble securing allied support for a beefed up military presence in the waters off Iran, where it has accused Tehran of attacking foreign tankers. Iran has vocally denied the claims, and accused the US of stoking tensions.
On Saturday, UK Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt warned that the seizure of the Stena Impero tanker was a breach of international law. Tehran insists that the vessel was detained due to its collision with a fishing boat.
The seizure of the British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz by Iranian forces took place after UK marines detained an Iranian supertanker off Gibraltar.
The tanker was captured at a time when the United Kingdom remains without a clear leader. The next prime minister will be announced on Tuesday, and whoever assumes the job will find himself in an extremely volatile situation.
NATO condemned the seizures of ships in the Strait of Hormuz, saying the incidents represent a challenge to international freedom of navigation. The bloc expressed its support for diplomatic engagement between London and Tehran.
On Friday, a UK-flagged tanker was seized in the Strait of Hormuz by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps after it allegedly violated international regulations. The UK condemned the move calling the act 'unacceptable'. The seizure comes amid UK-Iranian tensions that spiked after Britain seized an Iranian supertanker near Gibraltar.
Friday’s seizure of a British-flagged tanker off Iran's coast came two weeks after the Royal Navy detained an Iranian vessel near its Mediterranean peninsular exclave Gibraltar, further deteriorating already-poor relations between London and Tehran.
Earlier, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said that they have confiscated a UK tanker in the Strait of Hormuz.
Earlier, Washington stated that a US amphibious warship in the Strait of Hormuz had downed an Iranian drone that came too close and allegedly failed to respond to warnings. Tehran denies losing any drones recently.