3 Iranian IRGC boats attempted to seize British oil tanker in the Persian Gulf
Three Iranian vessels unsuccessfully tried to seize a British commercial vessel in the Strait of Hormuz.
The IRGC boats withdrew after the Royal Navy HMS Montrose pointed its guns at the boats and warned them over radio.
The British government said in a statement on Thursday that the Iranian vessels only turned away after receiving “verbal warnings” from a UK navy vessel accompanying the commercial vessel British Heritage.
“We are concerned by this action and continue to urge the Iranian authorities to deescalate the situation in the region,” the statement said.
Earlier on Thursday, two US officials told Reuters that five boats believed to belong to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards were involved in the incident on Wednesday.
“It was harassment and an attempt to interfere with the passage,” the other official said.
The US military confirmed the incident in a statement but declined to share any further details of the incident that comes a week after British Royal Marines seized an Iranian supertanker carrying oil to Syria off the coast of Gibraltar, a dramatic step that drew Tehran’s fury.
“If Britain does not release the Iranian oil tanker, it is the (Iranian) authorities duty to seize a British oil tanker,” a senior commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps terror group threatened last week.