Iran to Deny UK Ships Passage through Strait of Hormuz?

TankerIllustration; Source: Unsplash/Shaah Shahidh

Iran has warned that shipping might not be safe in the Strait of Hormuz oil waterway.

In an August 6, 2019 address to senior Iranian Foreign Ministry officials, Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani, said that peace with Iran is the “mother of all peace” and that war with Iran is the “mother of all war”.

He further noted that other countries cannot expect to enjoy security while they harm Iran’s security.

“Security for security. Strait for strait. It is inconceivable for the Strait of Hormuz to be free to you [the United Kingdom] while the Strait of Gibraltar is not free to us. This is inconceivable,” Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live on state TV.

The development comes on the back of rising tensions between Iran and the UK.

In early July, Gibraltar authorities and British Royal Marines detained the Iranian tanker Grace 1 on suspicion it was carrying crude oil to Syria, reportedly breaching EU sanctions against Syria. Although Gibraltar claimed it was enforcing the existing sanctions, Iran described the seizure as unlawful as the country is not an EU member.

Just weeks later, Iranian authorities seized a British-flagged, Swedish-owned oil tanker Stena Impero, while transiting the Strait of Hormuz on Friday. The vessel was captured for “breaching international maritime law”, Tehran-based Press TV earlier reported.

Additionally, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) seized an Iraqi oil tanker in the Persian Gulf due to suspicions of fuel smuggling to “some Arab countries” on August 4. The tanker was reportedly carrying around 700,000 liters of fuel. Reports suggest that seven crew members were detained from the Iraqi ship.

Approximately one-fifth of the world’s oil traffic passes through the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

World Maritime News Staff

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