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20 Jul, 2019 15:27

Speedboats & helicopter assault: Iran shows footage of British tanker seizure (VIDEO)

Speedboats & helicopter assault: Iran shows footage of British tanker seizure (VIDEO)

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) has released a video showing the moment its operatives captured the UK-flagged tanker Stena Impero. The IRGC claims that a British frigate tried to interfere, but failed.

The impressive, movie-like footage was released by the elite Iranian force on Saturday, a day after it seized the tanker. The video shows the moment of the operation, when IRGC speedboats surrounded the vessel, which was apparently steaming ahead at full speed. The naval force was backed by a military helicopter, which deployed an assault team on the tanker’s deck.

The vessel was ultimately stopped and subsequently escorted to shore. Iran insists the seizure was prompted by the Stena Impero’s failure to respond to a distress call from an Iranian fishing boat.

The IRGC also claimed that a British frigate tried to prevent them from seizing the Stena Impero. Its spokesman Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif said despite the “resistance and interference” of the warship, the Iranian forces succeeded in bringing the tanker to the country’s shores. There has so far been no comment from the UK on that. 

Earlier in the day, however, British Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt said that a Royal Navy ship, HMS Montrose, was some 60 minutes away from the tanker and was not able to assist it altogether.

Also on rt.com Seized UK-flagged tanker involved in ‘accident’ with Iranian fishing boat, probe launched – Tehran

The tanker itself is detained at Iran’s southern port city of Bandar Abbas. The crew of 23, consisting of 18 Indian nationals, while the rest are from Russia, Latvia, and the Philippines, remain on board the vessel. The ship’s operator, Stena Cargo, has denied any wrongdoing, while the UK advised the country’s vessels to steer clear of the Strait of Hormuz, threatening Tehran with “serious consequences.”

The incident mirrors another that occurred earlier this month involving the two nations. On July 4, Britain along with its dependency, Gibraltar captured Panama-flagged supertanker Grace 1, accusing it of carrying crude from Iran to Syria in violation of EU sanctions. Iran reacted angrily to the incident, branding the vessel’s capture an act of “piracy.”

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