Iran continues to seizure the British tankers, CNN reported. Armed guards boarded one tanker in the Strait of Hormuz before it was released, while another tanker remains seized.
The UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said any seizure is unacceptable. On Friday, the British diplomat emphasized that it is crucial that freedom of navigation is maintained and that all ships can move safely and freely in the region.
The British tanker, the Stena Impero, was captured on Friday by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). According to Tehran, the vessel violated “international regulations”. The vessel is carrying 23 seafarers onboard of Indian, Russian, Latvian and Filipino nationality.
“There have been no reported injuries and the safety and welfare of our crew remains our primary focus,” Erik Hanell, an official of the company, said.
The Liberian-flagged MV Mesdar, the second UK oil tanker, was briefly held by Iran but then released, United States officials and the company that owns the ship said. Iranian militaries “shortly stopped and briefed” the Liberian-flagged but British operated vessel then quickly released it, the Iranian state-run TV channel reported.
Commenting on the seizure of the British tankers in Strait of Hormuz, Donald Trump said the US does not have many tankers in the region but that the country does have a robust military presence there. The US Energy Information Administration calls the Strait of Hormuz one of the “world’s most important strategic chokepoints by volume of oil transit.”
An increase in tensions in the Strait of Hormuz could have dire economic and security consequences. Around 24% of global oil production passes through the narrow passage, and it’s the only way to ship oil out of the Persian Gulf.