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UK NewsIs the Royal Navy too small to deal with Iranian threat?

09:20  22 july  2019
09:20  22 july  2019 Source:   theweek.co.uk

Iranian authorities ‘seize British tanker in Persian Gulf’

Iranian authorities ‘seize British tanker in Persian Gulf’ Stena Bulk said the UK-registered tanker was in international waters at the time but now appeared to be heading north towards Iran. Stena Bulk said: “There are 23 seafarers aboard.  There have been no reported injuries and their safety is of primary concern to both owners and managers. “The priority of both vessel owner Stena Bulk and ship manager Northern Marine Management is the safety and welfare of the crew. “We are in close contact with UK government authorities.

Tobias Ellwood has warned that the Royal Navy is not big enough to deal with the threat from Iran . The Defence Minister demanded more money "Our Royal Navy is too small to manage our interests across the globe if that 's our future intentions and that 's something the next prime minister will need

' The Royal Navy , if you're looking at that in the first instance, is just too small to have a significant effect without being with allies. In Tehran, the Iranian military said all its drones had returned safely to their bases and denied there was any confrontation with the USS Boxer, an amphibious assault ship.

Is the Royal Navy too small to deal with Iranian threat? © Provided by Dennis Publishing Limited

The Royal Navy is too small to counter the potential threat from Iran, the defence minister has admitted.

Tobias Ellwood told The Times: “The threats we’re facing are changing in front of us, the world is getting more complex. If we are wanting to continue to play this influential role on the international stage it will require further funding for our armed forces, not least the Royal Navy. Our Royal Navy is too small to manage our interests across the globe.”

The news comes after it emerged that Tehran had ignored warnings from a British warship against seizing a UK-flagged tanker in the Gulf. The Stena Impero and her 23-strong crew are being held by Iranian forces after they were taken on Friday while passing through the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran seizes British oil tanker in Strait of Hormuz

Iran seizes British oil tanker in Strait of Hormuz Iran's Revolutionary Guards said on Friday they had captured a British-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf after Britain seized an Iranian vessel earlier this month, further raising tensions along a vital international oil shipping route. Britain said it was urgently seeking information about the Stena Impero after the tanker, which had been heading to a port in Saudi Arabia, suddenly changed course after passing through the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf. The Revolutionary Guards said they seized the tanker at the request of Iranian maritime authorities for "not following international maritime regulations", state television reported.

Iran 's actions are seen as a step up in simmering tensions between Iran and the US and UK after Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal in April. The UK honoured the pact but the Royal Marine 's involvement in July 4's capture of an Iranian tanker which was suspected of transporting oil

A Royal Navy frigate, HMS Montrose, was alerted and raced to intervene, as it did - successfully - with another British-flagged tanker just over a week ago. But this time it was too far away to stop the Stena Impero being seized - the tanker was already in Iranian waters. Iran 's state-run IRNA news agency

The Guardian says the British government is facing accusations it had “failed to sufficiently guard its shipping in the Gulf.”

The Independent says the crisis has “roiled UK politics” ahead of a “potentially contentious week” in which Boris Johnson is likely to take over as prime minister from Theresa May.

In the Iranian media the mood is more defiant and cheery. The newspaper Kayhan​ cheered: “Tanker for tanker; Iran acted on its pledge,” while the conservative Resalat declared: “The Queen’s thieves captive in the strait”.

The news of the Royal Navy shortages comes on top of another embarrassment in which audio was released of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the Royal Navy both giving instructions to the UK-flagged tanker before it was seized by Tehran.

Britain blasts Iran seizure of tanker as act of 'state piracy'

Britain blasts Iran seizure of tanker as act of 'state piracy' Britain will seek to put together a European-led maritime protection mission to ensure safe shipping through the Strait of Hormuz after Iran seized a British-flagged vessel in what London said was an act of "state piracy". Iran's Revolutionary Guards seized the Stena Impero in the Strait on Friday. British Royal Marines seized an Iranian tanker off the coast of Gibraltar two weeks ago. "Under international law Iran had no right to obstruct the ship's passage - let alone board her. It was therefore an act of state piracy," Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told parliament.

said: "Our Royal Navy is too small to manage our interests across the globe if that 's our future It comes after Iranian forces seized a UK-flagged tanker amid escalating tensions in the Middle East. EU sanctions which were lifted against Iran in 2016 in connection to a deal on the country's nuclear

A second ship that was detained by the Iranians was subsequently allowed to go, underlining the fact that this The Trump administration's decision to walk away from the international nuclear deal with Iran and to Naval experts believe that the Royal Navy simply no longer has sufficient numbers of

In the recording, an Iranian officer can be heard telling the Stena Impero: “If you obey, you will be safe. Alter your course to 360 degrees immediately, over.”

The Royal Navy asks the Iranians to “please confirm that you are not intending to violate international law by unlawfully attempting to board the MV Stena”.

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph reports warnings that Iran-backed terrorist cells could launch attacks in the UK if the crisis between London and Tehran deepens.

Intelligence sources claim that Tehran has sleeper terror cells across Europe and could give the go ahead for attacks in response to a conflict in the Gulf.

One source said: “Iran uses proxies and they have control of a network of individuals linked to Hezbollah.

“Iran has Hezbollah operatives in position to carry out a terrorist attack in the event of a conflict. That is the nature of the domestic threat Iran poses to the UK.”

In 2015, a cell was reportedly caught stockpiling tonnes of explosive materials on the outskirts of London.

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