Iran Captures British Oil Tanker; UK Issues Warning
Indians Among 23 Crew Members Onboard British Flagged Air-Tanker Captured by Iran
Tensions in the Gulf region have been escalating ever since American President Donald Trump withdrew the US last year from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. He also imposed economic sanctions on Iran, including its oil exports. Yesterday the American President claimed that US Navy has shot down an Iranian drone. Today Iran has claimed that they have captured a British Oil Tanker. This claim has led to an escalation in the tensions between Iran and the West.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard declared The tanker Stena Impero was taken to an Iranian port because it was not complying with “international maritime laws and regulations.” This move by Iran has increased the tensions.
Britain said that Iran has seized two ships in the Gulf. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt warned of “serious consequences” if the issue was not resolved quickly.
He said, “These seizures are unacceptable. It is essential that freedom of navigation is maintained and that all ships can move safely and freely in the region. We’re not looking at military options, we’re looking at a diplomatic way to resolve the situation, but we are very clear that it must be resolved. But if the situation is not resolved quickly there will be serious consequences.”
There are Indian nationals among the 23 people who are on board the British tanker, company owner Stena Bulk has said. The company also said that the vessel is no longer under the control of the crew after it was approached by unidentified vessels and a helicopter in international waters.
US official said that Iran has also seized a second tanker, the Liberian-flagged MV Masdar. However, Masdar was allowed to carry its course after Iranian officials followed up with the ship on its environmental regulations and it’s no longer in the Iranian waters.
The ongoing showdown has caused jitters around the globe, each manoeuvre bringing fear that any misunderstanding by either side could lead to war.