Iran’s media is claiming that a British-flagged oil tanker has been seized in the Gulf by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
The owners of the Stena Impero, which was bound for Saudi Arabia, say they have been unable to contact the vessel and it is “heading north towards Iran”.
The company says there are 23 personnel on board and it was approached by “unidentified small crafts and a helicopter” in the Strait of Hormuz.
According to the BBC, the Foreign Office is “urgently” looking into the reports and Cobra, the British government’s emergency committee, is meeting in Whitehall to discuss the incident.
This latest development comes amid heightened tensions between the UK and Iran and is the second ship Iran has seized this week after it captured a UAE ship earlier in the week, releasing footage of its capture on Friday morning.
Britain: End the Iran Deal – (Sign the Petition)
Stena Bulk, the vessel owner, and ship manager Northern Marine Management confirmed the UK-registered Stena Impero was approached at around 16:00 BST on Friday while it was in international waters.
A statement said: “We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north towards Iran.
“There have been no reported injuries and their safety is of primary concern to both owners and managers.”
Iran’s threats to Britain
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned the United Kingdom on Tuesday July 16 that Iran will take revenge for the detention of an Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar.
“Iran will respond to the vicious Britain’s piracy,” said Khamenei in his usual angry voice about the United Kingdom, adding that “Iran’s response will come at the right time and the right place.”
He charged that Britain has “lent piracy a lawful appearance,” warning that the Islamic Republic will “respond to the vicious act.”
Previously Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and the chief of the Iranian armed forces joint staff Mohammad Baqeri had also vowed to respond to what they called Britain’s “piracy,” referring to the British Royal Marine’s role in detaining Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 in Gibraltar waters on July 4 on the charges of violating EU sanctions against Syria.
Iran’s actions are nothing short of terrorism. They are targeting civilian vessels in order to attack the British government. This is not surprising coming from the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. Will the UK now wake up, leave the Iran Deal and treat the leaders of Iran as the terrorists that they are? We will find out in the coming days.