11:37 GMT +318 August 2019
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    Iranian Revolutionary Guard speedboat moves in the Persian Gulf near an oil tanker (File)

    Britain to Send Third Warship to the Persian Gulf - MoD

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    The news comes after London earlier this month accused Tehran of attempting to seize a British tanker in the Persian Gulf, which Iran has strongly denied.

    The British Ministry of Defence said on Tuesday that the UK would send a third warship, HMS Kent, to the Persian Gulf, adding, however, that the decision to do so is not related to the current row with Iran.

    "These long-planned movements do not reflect an escalation in the UK posture in the region and are routine", the ministry stressed.

    According to the officials, the HMS Kent, a Type 23 frigate, will deploy to the region later in the year in order to take over after the HMS Duncan.

    Tensions between Iran and the UK escalated in July, when the Royal Navy and Gibraltarian authorities seized Iran's Grace 1 supertanker, claiming that it was smuggling 2.1m barrels of crude oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions.

    HMS Duncan, a Type 45 Destroyer, which will relieve HMS Montrose in the region as Iran threatens to disrupt shipping. Iran on Friday, July 12, 2019 demanded the British navy release an Iranian oil tanker seized last week off Gibraltar, accusing London of playing a “dangerous game” and threatening retribution
    © AP Photo / Ben Sutton
    HMS Duncan, a Type 45 Destroyer, which will relieve HMS Montrose in the region as Iran threatens to disrupt shipping. Iran on Friday, July 12, 2019 demanded the British navy release an Iranian oil tanker seized last week off Gibraltar, accusing London of playing a “dangerous game” and threatening retribution

    Later, London also stated that the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had tried to "divert" a British Heritage tanker "from international to Iranian waters" in the Persian Gulf.

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani slammed London's decision to send a military escort with the tanker, stating that the UK's previous actions had endangered the safety of navigation in the region.

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    Persian Gulf, Iran, United Kingdom
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