10:17 GMT18 June 2021
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    Tensions between the United States and Iran intensified on Thursday after the US Central Command claimed that Iranian naval forces had boarded and seized an oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz for approximately five hours.

    Russia suggests holding an online conference of leaders of the UN Security Council states, Germany, and Iran to discuss the Persian Gulf and Iran, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday.

    "We suggest using the leaders' meeting to agree on the parameters of joint work on forming reliable mechanisms of building trust and ensuring security in the Persian Gulf", the president said.

    Putin said his administration presented a roadmap for restoring security in the Persian Gulf last year that could propose ways for "efficiently dealing with the knot of problems in the region".

    "We are certain that the problems can be resolved by considering every viewpoint carefully and responsibly and acting respectively and collectively", he added.

    The president warned there was no place for blackmail, coercion and one-sided approaches to the problem of Gulf security. When working on a solution stakeholders must take into account the positive experience gained earlier.

    "We urge our partners to consider our proposal carefully. Otherwise, the tensions will continue to grow and the risk of a conflict will rise", the message reads.

    Putin concluded that Russia is open to having a constructive dialogue with everyone who is interested in moving the situation in the Persian Gulf zone away from escalation.

    French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes the proposal to take part in an online conference, his office said in a statement.

    On Thursday, the US Central Command said that two Iranian military vessels and a helicopter had overtaken and boarded a Liberian-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. A CENTCOM official anonymously told AP that Iran had seized the vessel for five hours, but that it did not make any distress calls. AP also reported that the United States military did not provide any reasons as to why Iran had seized the oil tanker.

    The strategically important Strait of Hormuz provides the only sea passage from the Persian Gulf to the open ocean. Nearly 25 percent of all global oil supplies pass through the strait.

    security, Putin, Iran
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