Five armed Iranian military vessels have allegedly approached a British oil tanker in the Persian Gulf requesting the vessel to change course and dock, but were scared off by a UK warship, a US defense official claimed.
The incident reportedly happened on Wednesday when the tanker British Heritage was sailing through the narrow Strait of Hormuz, anonymous government officials told CNN and Reuters. The boats, apparently belonging to Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, allegedly requested the British vessel to change course and enter Iranian territorial waters.
However, after a ‘verbal’ warning from a Royal Navy frigate, the boats backed away and let the tanker pass. The UK Ministry of Defense has yet to comment on the reports that claimed the entire incident was filmed by US aircraft.
The report named the warship as HMS Montrose, a British frigate last seen escorting the tanker Pacific Voyager to the UAE port of Fujairah on Monday.
The BP-operated Heritage was bound for Basra in Iraq, but made an abrupt U-turn in the Persian Gulf on July 6, after Royal Marines had seized a Panamanian-flagged tanker carrying Iranian oil off Gibraltar. The British tanker was last reported sheltering in Saudi waters out of fear of a possible Iranian reprisal.
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