- Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) denies any involvement in the incident.
- Iran called the detention of its vessel "piracy."
- President Donald Trump's administration wants Iran to sign a new bilateral deal that will limit not only its nuclear activities but also the missile program, as well as military operations abroad.
Iranian ships tried to seize a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, the UK government said. This happened a week after British marines detained an Iranian tanker in the Strait of Gibraltar.
As stated by the British government, the incident occurred on Wednesday into the Strait of Hormuz: three Iranian boats tried to prevent the passage of British Heritage a commercial vessel but were forced to retreat when the HMS Montrose tanker escorting crew demanded they withdraw.
Iranian news agency Fars reports that the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) denies any involvement in the incident. RIA Novosti news agency, in turn, notes that the fact of the incident is also denied by the Iranian Foreign Ministry.
“What they say is aimed at escalating tensions. These statements are worth nothing,” the agency quotes Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif saying.
On July 4, it became known that British Gibraltar authorities detained a tanker with Iranian oil in the strait. According to them, the ship was carrying crude oil to the Baniyas refinery in Syria, which is in violation of the sanctions imposed by the EU and the US. Iran called the detention of its vessel “piracy” and the adviser to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei said that Tehran should seize the British tanker in response.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned that the detention of an Iranian tanker in the Strait of Gibraltar could have far-reaching consequences.
The situation in the region began to heat up against the background of the unilateral US withdrawal from the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program. Coming out of the agreement, the US restored sanctions against Iran, as well as limited the supply of Iranian oil to China, India, South Korea, Japan, and Turkey.
President Donald Trump’s administration wants Iran to sign a new bilateral deal that will limit not only its nuclear activities but also the missile program, as well as military operations abroad.
In May 2019, the Pentagon dispatched a Patriot air defense system and several warships to the Persian Gulf region, and then Trump announced that he would send more troops to the Middle East. These steps, as stated by Washington, are aimed at protecting the American forces already deployed in the region.
In Tehran, Washington’s statements are called a form of “psychological warfare” aimed at intimidating the Islamic republic.
On June 20, Iran shot down an American drone over its territory. The United States acknowledged the loss of the apparatus but insist that it flew in international airspace. The next day, the media reported that Trump sanctioned a strike on Iran, but then changed his mind.
The week before, the Norwegian and Japanese oil tankers caught fire in the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most important oil artery. The US accused Iran of the incident, but in Tehran they categorically denied involvement in the incident.
On Wednesday, the head of the US Joint Chief of Staff General Joseph Dunford said that the US authorities want to create an international coalition to protect commercial shipping off the coast of Iran and Yemen.