British oil tanker escorted by warship: IRGC spokesman

July 21, 2019

TEHRAN – Iran seized the British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz despite the “resistance and interference” of a British warship which had been escorting it, the spokesman for the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said on Saturday.

Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif said the tanker, Stena Impero, was being escorted by the British Royal Navy, Mehr reported.

It was seized after ignoring international maritime regulations by sailing into the Strait of Hormuz in the wrong direction, Sharif stated.

The spokesman added the British tanker was seized by the Guards at the request of Hormozgan Province’s Ports and Maritime Organization.

He also said the tanker had switched off its GPS tracker in violations of international maritime regulations, using the exit lane to enter into the Strait of Hormuz instead of moving towards the entrance of the Persian Gulf, increasing the risk of accident.

On Saturday, Iran released footage of Stena Impero, showing Iranian speedboats cruising near the oil tanker as a military helicopter was flying over the vessel.

An Iranian marine could be heard communicating with the command center in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas.

Masked Iranian commandos then rappelled onto the deck of the tanker from the helicopter. The name of the ship can be seen in the video.

MH/PA

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