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Iran boats harass British tanker in the Gulf: US officials

Iranian troopers participate within the “National Persian Gulf day” within the Strait of Hormuz, on April 30, 2019.

ATTA KENARE | AFP | Getty Pictures

5 boats believed to belong to Iranian Revolutionary Guards approached a British oil tanker within the Gulf on Wednesday and requested it to cease in Iranian waters shut by, however withdrew after a British warship warned them, U.S. officers stated.

Britain’s Ministry of Defence had no instant remark.

The incident occurred nearly every 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.

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

Tensions between Iran and the USA and its allies have risen sharply since Washington stepped up financial sanctions towards Iran and moved to convey the nation’s oil exports to zero as a part of a “maximum pressure” coverage to make Iran halt actions that it stated undermined regional safety.

Iran has responded to the sanctions by beginning to breach limits placed on its nuclear actions underneath a 2015 cope with world powers. 

A number of oil tankers have been attacked in waters close to Iran’s southern coast in May and June, for which the USA blamed Iran. Tehran denied any involvement.

Final month, Iran shot down a U.S. drone close to the Strait of Hormuz, prompting U.S. President Donald Trump to order retaliatory air strikes, solely to name them off.

The U.S. officers, talking on the situation of anonymity, stated Wednesday’s incident occurred as British Heritage was on 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 many officers stated.

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

The US hopes to enlist allies over the following two weeks or so in a army coalition to safeguard strategic waters off Iran and Yemen, Marine Normal Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Workers, stated on Tuesday.

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