Iran Says It Seized British Oil Tanker in Strait of Hormuz

Iran has said that it has seized a British oil tanker, according to news reports on July 19.

The country’s Revolutionary Guards said it seized the tanker, the Stena Impero, which went off course and went into Iranian territorial waters, the Guardian reported.

The report said it was traveling near the Strait of Hormuz.

This undated Ministry of Defence handout shows the HMS Duncan, a Type 45 Destroyer, which will relieve HMS Montrose in the region as Iran threatens to disrupt shipping. (Ben Sutton/Ministry of Defence via AP)

The owners of the ship said in a statement that it was “approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the Strait of Hormuz while the vessel was in international waters,” according to the report.

“We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north towards Iran,” the owners, Stena Bulk, and its manager, Northern Marine, added.

Iran also said that it seized the vessel “at the request of Hormozgan Ports and Maritime Organization when passing through the Strait of Hormuz, for failing to respect international maritime rules,” reported state-run PressTV.

Britain said it was urgently seeking further information after reports that a British-flagged tanker had taken a turn into Iranian waters.

“We are urgently seeking further information and assessing the situation following reports of an incident in the Gulf,” a spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said on Friday.

Here is Stena Bulk’s full statement:

Stena Bulk and Northern Marine Management can confirm that at approximately 1600 BST on 19th July UK registered vessel Stena Impero (built 2018, 49,683 DWT) was approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the Strait of Hormuz while the vessel was in international waters. We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north towards Iran.

There are 23 seafarers aboard. There have been no reported injuries and their safety is of primary concern to both owners and managers. The priority of both vessel owner Stena Bulk and ship manager Northern Marine Management is the safety and welfare of the crew.

Northern Marine Management has not been able to establish contact directly with the vessel since it was notified of the incident at approximately 1600 Today, 19th July 2019.
We are in close contact with UK government authorities.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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Author: Jack Phillips

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