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UK Releases Footage Showing Warship Escorting Tankers In Gulf

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The UK Royal Navy has now fully initiated its planned-for escort mission to British-flagged tankers transiting the increasingly dangerous Strait of Hormuz, following Iran's IRGC seizure and continued detention of the Stena Impero and its crew. 

Britain's Defence Ministry said in a statement Thursday that "the Royal Navy has been tasked to accompany British-flagged ships through the Strait of Hormuz, either individually or in groups, should sufficient notice be given of their passage."

Among the first batch of photos showing a British warship escorting a UK-flagged vessel through the Strait of Hormuz. Image source: UK Ministry of Defence/Sky News


 

Citing "safety" and "reassurance" for vessels transiting the strait, the statement added, "Freedom of navigation is crucial for the global trading system and world economy, and we will do all we can to defend it."

Sky News reported that a Royal Navy Type 23 frigate already stationed off Bahrain since April, the HMS Montrose, was the first warship to offer escort Thursday. The HMS Duncan, which is a larger 'Type 45' frigate, is reportedly en route to assist the Montrose. 

This follows UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt's Monday announcement of an initiative for a “European-led maritime protection mission to support safe passage of crew and cargo” in the Persian Gulf. The goal, he described, would be to provide safe passage for international vessels in the vital oil transit waterway, protecting them from Iranian "state piracy".

So far key EU leaders Germany and France, along with Italy, the Netherlands and Denmark indicated support for a European-led naval mission to ensure international vessels' safe passage in the gulf. All countries, however, sought to distance themselves from a joint patrol initiative lumped in with Washington's "maximum pressure" campaign on Iran. 

Tehran, for its part, has rebuffed calls for an EU maritime protection mission, saying it would only contribute to "insecurity" and rising tensions, and that its military alone can "secure" the vital oil shipping waterways off its coast. 

Image source: UK Ministry of Defence/Sky News


 

Meanwhile, on Wednesday Iran's president suggested an equal good faith swap of sorts. He proposed that should the UK release the Grace 1, a tanker filled with Iranian oil which was bound for a Syrian port seized off Gibraltar early this month, Iran would do likewise and immediately release the Stena Impero. 

"If Britain steps away from the wrong actions in Gibraltar, they will receive an appropriate response from Iran," Rouhani said Wednesday addressing a weekly cabinet meeting. The words came the same day Britain reportedly sent a mediator to Iran seeking to negotiate the ship's return and its 23 detained crew members. 


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  1. We need a new war! Things are getting boring.