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Tehran - Iranian Boats 'harass' British Tanker In The Gulf: U.S. Officials

Published on: July 10, 2019 11:30 PM
By: Reuters
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Royal Navy Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose performs a series of tight turns during exercise Marstrike 05 off the coast of Oman March 22, 2005. POA(Phot) Mick Storey/Royal Navy/Handout via REUTERSRoyal Navy Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose performs a series of tight turns during exercise Marstrike 05 off the coast of Oman March 22, 2005. POA(Phot) Mick Storey/Royal Navy/Handout via REUTERS

Tehran - Five boats believed to belong to Iranian Revolutionary Guards approached a British oil tanker in the Gulf on Wednesday and asked it to stop in Iranian waters close by, but withdrew after a British warship warned them, U.S. officials said.

Britain’s Ministry of Defence had no immediate comment.

The incident occurred almost a week after British Royal Marines boarded an Iranian tanker, Grace 1, off Gibraltar and seized it on suspicion that it was breaking sanctions by taking oil to Syria.

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Earlier on Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Britain would face “consequences” over the seizure of the Iranian tanker.

Tensions between Iran and the United States and its allies have risen sharply since Washington stepped up economic sanctions against Iran and moved to bring the country’s oil exports to zero as part of a “maximum pressure” policy to make Iran halt actions that it said undermined regional security.

Iran has responded to the sanctions by starting to breach limits put on its nuclear activities under a 2015 deal with world powers.

Several oil tankers were attacked in waters near Iran’s southern coast in May and June, for which the United States blamed Iran. Tehran denied any involvement.

Last month, Iran shot down a U.S. drone near the Strait of Hormuz, prompting President Donald Trump to order retaliatory air strikes, only to call them off.

The U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Wednesday’s incident happened as British Heritage was at the northern entrance of the Strait of Hormuz.

“The Royal Navy HMS Montrose, which was also there, pointed it guns at the boats and warned them over radio, at which point they dispersed,” one of the officials said.

“It was harassment and an attempt to interfere with the passage,” the other official said.

The United States hopes to enlist allies over the next two weeks or so in a military coalition to safeguard strategic waters off Iran and Yemen, Marine General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Tuesday.



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Read Comments (5)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jul 11, 2019 at 08:32 AM Anonymous Says:

How much longer is the US Navy and the British Navy going to put up with this BS from the Iranians? In 2000, after the USS Cole was attacked by several suicide bombers, causing many casualties, the US Navy was orders to take preventive measures to repel such attacks. However, the individual commanders on the ships, don't have the initiative or the guts to fire on the Iranians.

2

 Jul 11, 2019 at 10:26 AM Phineas Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

How much longer is the US Navy and the British Navy going to put up with this BS from the Iranians? In 2000, after the USS Cole was attacked by several suicide bombers, causing many casualties, the US Navy was orders to take preventive measures to repel such attacks. However, the individual commanders on the ships, don't have the initiative or the guts to fire on the Iranians.

I don't know that the situation is as simple as you're presenting it. The Cole was attacked by Al Qaeda, not another country's navy.

3

 Jul 11, 2019 at 12:52 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Phineas Says:

I don't know that the situation is as simple as you're presenting it. The Cole was attacked by Al Qaeda, not another country's navy.

The Iranians are not terrorists, similar to Al Qaeda?

4

 Jul 11, 2019 at 02:06 PM Phineas Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

The Iranians are not terrorists, similar to Al Qaeda?

Yes but it's also a country. Its complicated things.

5

 Jul 11, 2019 at 06:14 PM Anonymous Says:

One shot from their deck gun would take out the boats

6

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