12:43 GMT20 January 2021
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    Relations between the UK and Iran worsened recently after Iranian supertanker Grace 1 was detained off the coast of Gibraltar earlier this month on suspicion of carrying oil to Syria for refinement.

    The British oil tanker "Stena Impero" is now heading north towards Iran, the ship’s managing company, Northern Marine, has said.

    "We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north towards Iran", the owners, Stena Bulk, and the ship’s managers, Northern Marine, said, as quoted by The Guardian.

    The paper added that the ship’s owners have issued a statement saying that the vessel was "approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter" while sailing through international waters in the Strait of Hormuz.

    Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has said they have confiscated a UK tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, Reuters reported, citing the country's state TV.

    Iranian soldiers take part in the National Persian Gulf day in the Strait of Hormuz, on April 30, 2019
    © AFP 2020 / ATTA KENARE
    Iranian soldiers take part in the "National Persian Gulf day" in the Strait of Hormuz, on April 30, 2019

    According to the report, the British oil tanker "Stena Impero" was detained over a violation of international norms.

    A defence expert has shared an image on Twitter, providing details of the tanker's seizure.

    Earlier on Friday, Reuters reported, citing a spokesman for the Ministry of Defence, that Britain was urgently seeking more information after reports that one of its tankers was involved in an incident in the Persian Gulf.​

    The incident comes on the same day as a court in Gibraltar announced that an Iranian tanker, the Grace 1, would be detained for 30 more days. The tanker was carrying about two million barrels of crude oil when it was detained by British Royal Marines on suspicion of shipping oil to Syria. Iran has denied the allegation.


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