Iran Guards Say British Tanker Entered Strait From the Wrong Direction
(Bloomberg) -- Iran said a British oil tanker that’s been seized in the Persian Gulf had entered the Strait of Hormuz from the "wrong direction" and will be held until a judicial assessment is completed.
The U.K. tanker wasn’t following maritime regulations of the warnings given and could have potentially collided with other ships, Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps. spokesperson Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif said, according to the Iranian Students News Agency. Iran “will act with determination in applying the law in the Strait of Hormuz.”
The judiciary says “this vessel will remain here until it completes its assessment of the situation,” a reporter on a boat close to the U.K. tanker said on Iran’s state television.
The incident has sent tension soaring in one of the world’s critical energy chokepoints and appears to be in retaliation for the British seizure of Iran’s Grace 1 tanker off Gibraltar. A court in Gibraltar has ordered the continued detention of the vessel, for another 30 days, after it was held on suspicion of taking oil to Syria. Iran denies that was the destination.
The U.K. has demanded the immediate release of the Stena Impero and on Saturday summoned Iran’s charge d’affaires, Mohsen Omidzamani, for talks in London. The government threatened Iran with "serious consequences" and advised U.K. ships to avoid the area. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in a Tweet Saturday that British shipping will be protected.
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