By staff and agency

Britain to send third warship to Persian Gulf

July 17, 2019 - 20:50

The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced on Tuesday that the United Kingdom will send a third warship to the Persian Gulf.

MoD said on Tuesday HMS Duncan, a type 45 frigate, is transiting to the region to ensure Britain maintains a continuous maritime security presence while HMS Montrose, a type 23 frigate, undertakes planned maintenance, Aljazeera reported.

Duncan is expected to arrive next week.

The move comes amid intensifying tensions with Tehran over the illegal seizure of an Iranian oil tanker.

“These long-planned movements do not reflect an escalation in the UK posture in the region and are routine,” the MoD said.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday condemned the British government’s illegal seizure of the Iranian supertanker in Gibraltar, saying the act of “piracy” will not go “unanswered”.

“The evil England conducts piracy and steals our ship,” the Leader said. “They carry out an atrocity and give it a legal form.”

“The Islamic Republic and the establishment’s pious elements will not leave these enmities unanswered,” he warned.

On July 4, British Royal Marines in Gibraltar stormed the Iran-operated supertanker Grace 1 off the coast of Gibraltar, seizing the 300,000-ton vessel based on the accusation that it was carrying oil to Syria in possible violation of the European Union’s sanctions on the war-torn Arab country.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has said the seizure took place upon an order by the United States. White House national security advisor John Bolton has praised the move. 

Iran has said the act amounts to piracy. It has also denied reports that the supertanker was carrying oil to Syria.

“Contrary to Britain’s announcement, the tanker was not bound for Syria, and the port mentioned is not capable of receiving such a tanker,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told reporters on July 7.

NA/PA

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