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, Tehran denied Donald Trump’s statements claiming that a US ship in the Strait of Hormuz had downed an Iranian drone that allegedly flew too close to the vessel, something which Washington characterised as a "defensive action".
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has offered to immediately ratify the JCPOA Additional Protocol in exchange for the immediate removal of US sanctions. Under the first 2015 JCPOA deal, the Protocol was to be confirmed in 2023.
US President Donald Trump claimed on Thursday that a US warship destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz after the aircraft ignored multiple warnings to stand down.
The Spanish frigate was part of a US-led naval group that was sent to the Persian Gulf shortly before Tehran announced the suspension of some of its obligations under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal on 8 May. The move came exactly a year after the US unilaterally left the deal, also reinstating harsh anti-Iranian sanctions.