Britain has warned Iran that its response to the seizure of a British-flagged tanker by Iran can be “thought of and strong” and that there can be “critical penalties” if the state of affairs weren’t swiftly resolved.
Jeremy Hunt, UK overseas secretary, additionally made clear that, whereas freedom of navigation have to be maintained within the strait of Hormuz, Britain was trying to resolve the disaster by diplomatic means.
After conferences of the federal government’s high disaster administration physique Cobra, Mr Hunt instructed Sky Information: “We aren’t taking a look at army choices, we’re taking a look at a diplomatic option to resolve the state of affairs however we’re very clear that it have to be resolved.”
Mr Hunt added: “These seizures are unacceptable. It’s important that freedom of navigation is maintained and that each one ships can transfer safely and freely within the area.”
Iran seized the UK-flagged Stena Impero within the Strait of Hormuz on Friday, sharply escalating pressure in one of many world’s most vital oil transport lanes.
The seizures got here 24 hours after the US claimed to have shot down an Iranian drone that ventured too near an American warship within the strait.
Late on Friday evening, the British authorities suggested UK ships to remain out of the realm “for an interim interval”.
The Overseas and Commonwealth Workplace stated: “We stay in shut contact with our worldwide companions and there can be additional conferences over the weekend.”
David Richards, the previous Chief of Defence Workers within the UK, instructed the BBC that Britain wanted to sit down down with the US to attempt to give you an answer to the disaster.
However Lord Richards stated this may be troublesome as a result of Britain and the US have taken completely different approaches over what ought to occur on the Iran nuclear deal.
“At present, the US strategic targets are completely different to these of the Europeans,” he instructed BBC radio’s Right this moment programme.
Screengrab from www.marinetraffic.com exhibiting the tracked course of the tanker Stena Impero © PA
Lord West, a former head of the Royal Navy, stated Britain shouldn’t be stunned by the seizing of the Stena Impero tanker, warning that the UK had “too few ships” to defend its pursuits within the Gulf.
“What I discover extraordinary is that we knew that the Iranians would attempt one thing like this a number of days in the past,” he instructed Sky Information.
“I’m completely amazed that we haven’t applied some type of management of crimson ensign transport throughout the area whereby no tanker would go in to what’s clearly a harmful zone with out an escort, and I discover it weird that we appear to have ships doing precisely that.”
Lord West stated that with so few navy ships, the UK would discover it “extraordinarily troublesome” to offer escorts to service provider vessels.