UK offers ships naval escort after Iran oil tanker seizure

Iranian troops inspect tanker
Posted at 10:29 AM, Jul 25, 2019

LONDON (AP) — The U.K. government is offering British-flagged ships traveling through the Strait of Hormuz a Royal Navy escort after Iran seized a British oil tanker in the busy waterway last week.

The Department for Transport said on Thursday that if ships give advance notice of their plans they will be escorted by frigate HMS Montrose, either individually or in groups.

The escort is not compulsory, and Britain has limited naval resources in the region. On Friday the Montrose arrived too late to prevent the tanker Stena Impero from being seized by Iran's Revolutionary Guard forces.

Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, suggested Wednesday that Stena Impero could be released if the U.K. takes similar steps to hand back an Iranian oil tanker seized by the Royal Navy off Gibraltar earlier this month.