A British oil tanker was unsuccessfully seized by Iranian ships in the Persian Gulf on Wednesday.
This happened when the British Heritage tanker was sailing through the Strait of Hormuz, which was a strategic bottleneck sitting partially in Iranian waters. The armed vessels from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran tried to capture it.
According to the reports, the U.K. vessel was ordered by Iranian ships to divert its path and stop before the escorting ship, Royal Navy frigate HMS Montrose.
The ship then pointed their guns towards the Iranian ships and placed orders to back off to which they complied. Although, Iran declines the claim.
This happened to avenge the U.K. for stopping one of the Iranian vessels, the Grace 1, in Gibraltar coast.
Apparently, according to the U.K., Iran was violating EU sanctions by carrying fuel to Syria, so they stopped the Iranian vessel. But Iran denied this allegation and accused the U.K. of acting according to the U.S.
The HMS Montrose is equipped with 30 mm guns on the deck which are specifically designed to scare the small boats away. It also has a radar that can track missiles and aircraft up to 120 miles away, and a 20-mile range missile system.
On Tuesday as well, a British tanker, Pacific Voyager, was escorted by HMS Montrose through the Strait of Hormuz.
The Wednesday incident took place as the tensions were rising between The U.S. and Iran. The U.S. apparently accused Iran of destroying several tankers with explosives and an American drone in the Gulf.
In order to safeguard strategic waters from Iran, America has already started planning to enlist allies into a military coalition over the next two weeks.
According to the plan, the U.S. would lead surveillance and provide command ships for the military alliance. The allies would patrol not only the surrounding water but also escort the commercial vessels.
The U.S.’ Marine General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that they will now be engaging with other countries for the coalition to ensure that all the commercial vessels navigate freely in the Straits of Hormuz as well as Bab al-Mandab.
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