Posted on July 11, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
Naval Forces belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) attempted to seize the BP-owned Oil Tanker, British Heritage as it was attempting to transit through the Strait of Hormuz.
The incident occurred on July the 10th, as the oil tanker was sailing out of the Persian Gulf and attempting to enter the Gulf of Oman.
Reportedly, five boats belonging to the IRGC approached the tanker and ordered it to divert course, with the aim of bringing it into Iranian territorial waters.
Thankfully the UK’s Royal Navy Frigate, the HMS Montrose had been escorting the tanker, following a short distance behind. The frigate proceeded to aim its guns at the Iranian vessels and issued a warning to the encroaching ships.
Following the verbal warning, the Iranian vessels retreated and allowed the tanker to pass.
“Contrary to international law, three Iranian vessels attempted to impede the passage of a commercial vessel, British Heritage, through the strait of Hormuz.
“The HMS Montrose was forced to position herself between the Iranian vessels and British Heritage and issue verbal warnings to the Iranian vessels, which then turned away.
“We are concerned by this action and continue to urge the Iranian authorities to de-escalate the situation in the region,” reads an official statement from the UK Ministry of Defence.
This attempt at a seizure of a UK vessel on behalf of Iran is an act of retaliation for the seizing of Grace 1, an Iranian vessel that was caught in breach of EU sanctions while transiting through Gibraltar.
Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani went on record on Wednesday to warn that the UK would face repercussions for its recent actions against Iran.
“Now you are so hopeless that, when one of your tankers wants to move in the region, you have to bring your frigates because you are scared. Then why do you commit such acts? You should instead allow navigation to be safe,” said Rouhani in a statement.
Image Courtesy of Marine Traffic