Telegraph: Britain to send second warship to Gulf amid rising tension with Iran12 July 2019 | 15:11 | FOCUS News Agency
Relations between Tehran and the West have come under increasing strain after UK authorities seized an Iranian tanker in Gibraltar heading for Syria and a Royal Navy ship was harassed by Revolutionary Guards in the Strait of Hormuz.
The HMS Duncan, a Type 45 Destroyer, will reportedly sail to the Gulf in the coming days to provide support to the HMS Montrose. It is understood it was due to travel to the region, but its deployment was brought forward in light of recent events.
Prime Minister Theresa May's spokeswoman said on Friday that the UK was also "talking to the US about building on our presence in the face of recent threats to shipping in the area."
While not linked, the fate of the impounded Grace 1 vessel has become tied to the future of the nuclear deal with Iran.
The Islamic Republic on Friday called on Britain to release its seized oil tanker and warned foreign powers to “leave the region because Iran and other regional countries are capable of securing the regional security”.
Abbas Mousavi, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, told the IRNA news agency: “This is a dangerous game and has consequences ... The legal pretexts for the capture are not valid ... The release of the tanker is in all countries’ interests.”
Sources suggested the move was done on US instruction, however, Gibraltar’s chief minister stated that no other government was involved in the decision to detain the tanker.
"There has been no political request at any time from any government that Gibraltar should act or not act on one basis or another," Fabian Picardo told parliament, revealing that vessel had been carrying 2.1 million barrels of light crude oil.
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