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Media caption Jeremy Hunt cautions of “severe effects” for Iran

The UK federal government has stated it is “deeply worried” about Iran’s “inappropriate” seizure of a British-flagged tanker in the Gulf.

The Stena Impero’s owners state they have actually been not able to get in touch with the ship, which was taken in the Strait of Hormuz, an essential waterway in the area.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has actually cautioned of “major effects” if the scenario is not fixed rapidly.

Iran stated the ship was “breaching worldwide maritime guidelines”.

A 2nd British-owned Liberian-flagged tanker, the MV Mesdar, was likewise boarded by armed guards however was launched.

The Stena Impero was taken on Friday by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, according to the semi-official Fars news company.

Stena Bulk, which owns the vessel, stated it remained in “complete compliance with all navigation and global guidelines” and was approached while it remained in worldwide waters.

Mr Hunt stated the tanker had actually been surrounded by 4 vessels and a helicopter and was heading into Iranian waters.

There were no reported injuries amongst the 23 team members, who are Indian, Russian, Latvian and Filipino, Stena Bulk stated.

Norbulk Shipping UK, the Glasgow-based operator of the MV Mesdar, stated interaction had actually been re-established with the vessel and its team was “safe and well”.

The federal government’s emergency situation committee, Cobra, fulfilled in Whitehall two times on Friday in action to the crisis.

A spokesperson informed the BBC the federal government was “deeply worried about Iran’s undesirable actions”, stating they “represent a clear obstacle to worldwide liberty of navigation”.

“We have actually recommended UK delivering to avoid of the location for an interim duration,” the spokesperson included.

Earlier, Mr Hunt, who went to the Cobra conference, stated the seizures were “totally undesirable” and “liberty of navigation need to be kept”.

“We are definitely clear that if this circumstance is not dealt with rapidly there will be severe repercussions,” he stated.

“We are not taking a look at military choices. We are taking a look at a diplomatic method to solve this circumstance however we are really clear that it needs to be fixed.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn stated: “The seizure of these vessels is undesirable, and the tanker that stays under Iranian control should be launched. Escalation runs the risk of a slide into an even much deeper dispute.”

Image copyright Norbulk Shipping
Image caption The Mesdar tanker

United States President Donald Trump reacted to the advancements by stating he would talk with the UK.

And United States Central Command – which is accountable for Washington’s security interests throughout the Middle East – stated it was establishing an international maritime effort in action to the scenario.

Operation Sentinel will increase security of, and security in, crucial waterways in the Middle East to guarantee flexibility of navigation, it stated.

The United States armed force stated it wished to promote maritime stability, make sure safe passage, and de-escalate stress in global waters throughout the Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Oman.

These newest events come in the middle of increased stress in between the UK, the United States, and Iran.

Earlier this month Royal Marines assisted take an Iranian tanker off Gibraltar which was thought of bring oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions.

In reaction to the seizure, Iran threatened to take a British oil tanker .

On 9 July, the UK raised the risk to British shipping in Iranian waters in the Gulf to “vital” – the greatest level.

A day later on, Iranian boats tried to hamper a British oil tanker in the area, prior to being cautioned off by a Royal Navy ship, according to the Ministry of Defence. Iran rejected any tried seizure.

Was the tanker crisis preventable?

Difficult concerns will need to be responded to by the UK federal government worrying the choices that have actually been taken and the resources offered.

Given the unpredictable and extremely delicate scenario in the Gulf, together with the desperate requirement to reinforce the flagging Iran nuclear accord, was it practical to apprehend a vessel bring Iranian oil off Gibraltar?

Were the larger prospective repercussions sufficiently taken a look at?

And did the UK react efficiently to the risks from Tehran?

A White House National Security Council representative stated this newest event was the 2nd time in simply over a week the UK had actually been “the target of escalatory violence” by Iran.

Iran has actually been blamed by the United States for attacks on tankers which have actually occurred on the planet’s crucial shipping location given that May. Tehran rejects all the allegations.

Tensions in between the United States and Iran have actually increased greatly because the United States tightened up sanctions it reimposed on Iran after unilaterally withdrawing from a landmark 2015 nuclear offer.

On Friday, the United States declared to have actually ruined an Iranian drone in the Gulf .

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-49054586