Iranian Revolutionary Guards detain British tanker News -

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TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran's Revolutionary Guard said on Friday that it had seized a British-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf after Britain seized an Iranian tanker this month, adding to tension in a vital shipping lane to ship oil to the world market.. Britain said it was urgently seeking more information about the ship "Stina Empero," which was heading towards a Saudi port after suddenly changed its destination after crossing the Strait of Hormuz. "We can not contact the vessel now," a statement from the ship's owner said.

Iranian state television quoted the Revolutionary Guard as saying The tanker was detained at the request of the maritime authorities in the Iranian province of Hormuzgan because of "failure to follow the rules of international navigation." The British news agency quoted a military source as saying that the British carrier, detained by the Revolutionary Guards on Friday, closed the tracking device and ignored warnings from the Revolutionary Guards. "The tanker closed the tracking device and ignored several warnings from the guards before being detained," the source told the agency. The same source said that the violations of the tank also included sailing in the wrong direction in the navigation lane and ignoring the instructions.

"We are urgently seeking more information and are assessing the situation following reports of an incident in the Gulf," a spokesman for the British Ministry of Defense said in London on Friday. A source familiar with the matter said the British government's emergency committee was currently meeting on the matter. Prime Minister Teresa Mae's office declined to comment.

The "Sina Empiro" is a British flag carrier owned by "Stina Balak" and was heading to the Saudi port of Jubail on the Gulf. The ship's tracking map showed that it had turned sharply towards the north around Friday afternoon towards the Iranian coast.

US television channel CNBC reported that Stena Balck says small boats and an unidentified helicopter approached the British-registered Stina Empero in the Strait of Hormuz, where the ship later changed course.

Tension in relations between Iran and the West has escalated since British naval forces seized an Iranian tanker in Gibraltar on July 4 on suspicion of smuggling oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions. Iran said it would respond. Days later, three Iranian ships tried to intercept a British-owned tanker in the Strait of Hormuz but retreated after a British Navy vessel.


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