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U.K. Navy Intervenes After Iran Tries to Stop British Oil Tanker



U.K. Navy Intervenes After Iran Tries to Stop British Oil Tanker

By Tim Ross and Anthony Dipaola

The British Navy intervened to stop Iran from blocking a BP Plc oil tanker, the U.K. government said, in the latest evidence that merchant shipping is becoming increasingly embroiled in the wider confrontation with the Islamic Republic.

The BP-operated British Heritage, which can carry as much as 1 million barrels of oil, was attempting to pass through the Strait of Hormuz, a shipping chokepoint at the mouth of the world’s largest oil-producing region, when “three Iranian vessels attempted to impede it,” according to a U.K. government statement.

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,” the statement said. The frigate was escorting the tanker, which had remained inside the Persian Gulf to avoid being targeted in response to last week’s seizure by British special forces of a tanker hauling Iranian crude in the Mediterranean Sea.

Iran denied any such intervention took place.

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-07-11/iran-tries-to-seize-british-tanker-u-k-navy-ship-intervenes