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23 Jul, 2019 20:47

Iran will 'secure' Strait of Hormuz, deputy foreign minister vows

Iran will 'secure' Strait of Hormuz, deputy foreign minister vows

“Iran will use its best efforts to secure the region, particularly the Strait of Hormuz, and will not allow any disturbance in shipping in this sensitive area,” Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said during a meeting with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Tuesday, according to Iranian state media.

Araqchi did not say what efforts Tehran will make to secure the strait, but his statement comes days after both Britain and the US announced the formation of multinational maritime patrols to protect western shipping traffic in the region.

Tensions between Iran and the West have skyrocketed in recent weeks, following Britain’s seizure of an Iranian oil tanker off the coast of Gibraltar, which the UK says had been transporting oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions. Iranian forces interdicted and seized a British-flagged vessel on Friday, claiming it had violated maritime law. Earlier that day, Iranian troops boarded another, Liberian-flagged tanker, but released it shortly afterwards.

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