In July, the United Kingdom’s Navy
seized the Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 near Gibraltar. In response, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard
Corps (IRGC) gave a stern warning to the U.K that their British ships will be
seized as well.
Recently, the IRGC seized a British
oil tanker Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz, while on its way from
Fujairah, UAE to Jubail in Saudi Arabia.
The blogger Moon of Alabama posted a
scenario of how the oil tanker was seized by IRGC:
“Just when the ship had passed
through the Straits of Hormuz from east to west it was approached by IRGC fast
boots. The ship made a sharp turn south towards Oman but could not outrun the
IRGC boots. It was boarded.
“It then slowed down, made a sharp
180 degree turn and sailed towards north. It is now in Iranian waters. The last
Automatic Identification System (AIS) signal it emitted came in at about 17:30
Iran has announced that the IRGC
seized Stena Imperio in retaliation to UK’s seizure of Grace 1 because it
violated the international maritime regulations when crossing the Strait of
The UK oil tanker was seized by the
IRGC Navy forces in the first naval zone at the request of the Ports and
Maritime Organization of Iran at the province of Hormozgan, the statement said.
There is an audio recording of
British and Iranian naval authorities radioing instructions to a UK-flagged oil
tanker just moments before it was seized.
The exchange begins with an Iranian
vessel telling the Stena Impero to change direction:
“If you obey you will be safe,
alter your course. As you are conducting transit passage in a recognized
international strait, under international law your passage must not be
impaired, impeded, obstructed or hampered.”
The Iranians responded, stating that
they do not have intentions to challenge the ship and only wish to carry out an
inspection for “security reasons.”
British media has been floating
possible sanctions on Iran however, UK has already expressed its intention to
de-escalate the situation.