‘Escalatory violence’: Washington reacts to Tehran seizing British tanker
The White House has condemned “escalatory violence by the Iranian regime,” as President Donald Trump promised to speak with the UK after Iran’s elite military wing said they captured a British-owned tanker over alleged violations.
“We are aware of reports that Iranian forces seized a British oil tanker. This is the second time in just over a week the UK has been the target of escalatory violence by the Iranian regime,” the White House national security council spokesman, Garrett Marquis, said.
Meanwhile, President Trump was directly asked to comment the seizing of the British Stena Impero tanker by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Trump declined to respond if that “crossed a line” and how the US will respond, but brought up an agreement with the UK on maritime security.Also on rt.com Iran confiscates British tanker in Strait of Hormuz – IRGC
Trump also branded Iran as “nothing but trouble” and said that the incident proves he “was right about Iran.” He also mentioned unconfirmed reports of the second British tanker possibly captured.
The Stena Impero was on Friday heading to Saudi Arabia but left the international sea lanes and instead headed north towards the Iranian island of Qeshm.
Stena Bulk, the company owning the vessel said that it was “approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter” before changing course. The IRGC’s Public Relations Department said that the ship was “confiscated” over its failure “to respect international maritime rules.”Also on rt.com ‘Smuggling fuel’: Iran state TV shows VIDEO of seized tanker days after UAE-based vessel vanishes
Meanwhile, the company said it could not presently contact its vessel with 23 crew members on board. The British authorities said that they are assessing the situation while the UK Chamber of Shipping called for “further protection for the merchant vessels.”
The incident follows the separate seizure of tanker carrying Iranian oil, which was detained by the British marines while passing through the Strait of Gibraltar. The Gibraltar police said the vessel was suspected of violating EU sanctions against Syria – something that Tehran repeatedly denied. The incident sparked a bitter row between the UK and Iran, which has been calling on the Gibraltar and the British authorities to release the ship to no avail.
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