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WorldBritain says Iranian vessels tried to block ship in Gulf

11:56  11 july  2019
11:56  11 july  2019 Source:   msn.com

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The British navy said Thursday it stopped three Iranian paramilitary vessels from disrupting the passage of a British oil tanker through the Strait of Hormuz in a brief but tense standoff stemming from the U.K.'s role in seizing an Iranian supertanker a week earlier. The incident highlights how.

The British navy said Thursday it stopped three Iranian paramilitary vessels from disrupting the Russia and China, both signatories to the nuclear agreement along with Britain , France and Germany, have called for restraint. It said three Iranian vessels attempted "to impede" the ship 's passage.

Britain says Iranian vessels tried to block ship in Gulf© Provided by The Associated Press In this image from file video provided by UK Ministry of Defence, British navy vessel HMS Montrose escorts another ship during a mission to remove chemical weapons from Syria at sea off coast of Cyprus in February 2014. The British Navy said it intercepted an attempt on Thursday, July 11, 2019, by three Iranian paramilitary vessels to impede the passage of a British commercial vessel just days after Iran’s president warned of repercussions for the seizure of its own supertanker. A U.K. government statement said Iranian vessels only turned away after receiving “verbal warnings” from the HMS Montrose accompanying the commercial ship through the narrow Strait of Hormuz. (UK Ministry of Defence via AP)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The British navy said it prevented three Iranian paramilitary vessels from impeding the passage of a British commercial ship in the Strait of Hormuz early Thursday, a day after Iran's president warned of repercussions for the seizure of its own supertanker.

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The British Navy said it intercepted an attempt on Thursday, July 11, 2019, by three Iranian paramilitary vessels to impede the passage of a British commercial Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “freedom of navigation should be ensured in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.”

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Britain said Thursday that three Iranian vessels unsuccessfully tried to impede the passage of a British commercial It said three Iranian vessels attempted “to impede” the ship ’s passage. “HMS Montrose was forced to position herself between the Iranian vessels and

Iran's Revolutionary Guard denied the allegations, saying if it had received orders to seize any ships it would have done so immediately.

The incident came at a time of heightened tensions over Iran's unraveling nuclear agreement with world powers. Iran recently began breaching uranium enrichment limits in response to the Trump administration's withdrawal from the agreement last year and its imposition of sweeping sanctions.

In recent months, the U.S. has dispatched thousands of additional troops, an aircraft carrier, bombers and advanced fighter jets to the region. Washington has blamed Iran for a series of mysterious attacks on oil tankers — charges denied by Tehran — and said it shot down an American drone in international airspace. Iran said it downed the drone after it veered into its own airspace.

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The British navy said it prevented three Iranian paramilitary vessels from impeding the passage of a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. In this image from file video provided by UK Ministry of Defence, British navy vessel HMS Montrose escorts another ship during a mission to remove

The British navy said it prevented three Iranian paramilitary vessels from impeding the passage of a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz early The U.K. government said in a statement that British navy vessel HMS Montrose had been accompanying the commercial ship , British Heritage, through

The U.K. government said in a statement that British navy vessel HMS Montrose had been accompanying the commercial ship, British Heritage, through the narrow Strait of Hormuz. Maritime security risk firm Dryad Global described the British Heritage as an oil tanker owned by BP and registered in the Isle of Man.

"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 government statement said.

"We are concerned by this action and continue to urge the Iranian authorities to de-escalate the situation in the region," it added.

The U.S. 5th Fleet and Central Command declined to comment on the incident.

Around 20% of all oil traded worldwide passes through the Strait of Hormuz. Iran has periodically threatened to close the shipping lane if it is prevented from exporting its own oil. The U.S. has vowed to keep the strait open to commercial traffic.

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Iranian vessels first tried to stop a British tanker in the Persian Gulf region a few days later, on July 11. After a short standoff, an accompanying British At the same time, the United States and its allies have accused Tehran of using naval mines to damage six ships in two attacks in the Persian Gulf

The British navy said it prevented three Iranian paramilitary vessels from impeding the passage of a British commercial ship in the Strait of Hormuz early Thursday, a day after Iran 's president warned of repercussions for the seizure of its own supertanker. Iran 's Revolutionary Guard denied the

The semi-official Fars news agency carried a statement from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's navy early Thursday saying there were no clashes with foreign ships, "especially British boats."

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed the British allegations as "worthless," saying the claims "are being made to create tension," the agency reported.

Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, had recently warned that Britain would face "repercussions" over the seizure of an Iranian supertanker last week that authorities in Gibraltar, a British overseas territory, suspect was breaching European sanctions on oil shipments to Syria.

Iran had also summoned the British ambassador over what it called the "illegal interception" of the ship.

The operation to seize the Iranian tanker took place exactly one week ago at the request of the United States. Gibraltar port and law enforcement agencies were assisted by Britain's Royal Marines in the ship's seizure.

The tensions are rooted in President Donald Trump's decision last year to withdraw from the landmark nuclear agreement negotiated by the Obama administration. Trump has since re-imposed crippling sanctions on Iran, including on its vital oil exports, exacerbating an economic crisis that has sent the currency plummeting.

The remaining parties to the nuclear deal — Russia, China, Germany, France, Britain and the European Union — have been unable to meet Tehran's demands for economic assistance to offset the American sanctions.

In recent weeks, Iran began breaching the limits of the deal, both on the permitted stockpile of low-enriched uranium and the permitted level of uranium enrichment.

It also set an early September deadline for world powers to save the agreement, saying it would otherwise take a third step in going beyond the deal's limits.

Iran maintains it is justified in breaching the limitations because the U.S. already broke the deal with its unilateral withdrawal last year.

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Vahdat reported from Tehran, Iran. Associated Press writers Robert Burns in Washington and Andrew Drake in London contributed to this report.

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Iran Said to Seize British Tanker in Persian Gulf.
Iran said Friday that it had seized a British oil tanker in the Persian Gulf, and the tanker’s owner said it had lost contact with the vessel as it appeared to be heading toward Iran. The British government said it was urgently seeking information about the incident. 

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