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Thu Jul 11, 2019, 08:32 AM

Iran's Revolutionary Guards deny trying to stop British tanker in Gulf - Fars news

Source: Reuters


JULY 11, 2019 / 1:06 AM / UPDATED 39 MINUTES AGO

GENEVA (Reuters) - Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards rejected on Thursday a U.S. claim that they tried to stop a British tanker in the Gulf a day earlier, the Guards said in a statement carried by the semi-official Fars news agency.

Five boats believed to belong to the Guards approached a British oil tanker in the Gulf on Wednesday and asked it to stop in Iranian waters close by but withdrew after a British warship warned them, U.S. officials said.

The Guards’ Navy said in a statement their patrol boats were carrying out normal duties, according to Fars.

“In the past 24 hours there has been no encounter with foreign ships including English ships,” the statement said.


Read more: https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-mideast-iran-idUKKCN1U60GX?

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Reply Iran's Revolutionary Guards deny trying to stop British tanker in Gulf - Fars news (Original post)
DonViejo Jul 11 OP
Ghost Dog Jul 11 #1

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2019, 07:23 PM

1. The Brits are spinning narrative... Under orders?

... Lord Howell, a former Conservative cabinet minister and chairman of the Lords international relations committee, asked his government on Thursday whether it “was such a good idea to raid the Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar in the first place”. He said: “Obviously we want to stop oil getting to President Assad, although probably he can get all the oil he wants from Russia. Are we not supposed to be on the same side as the Iranians on the question of nuclear proliferation and control? Can we have a firm assurance that we did this not just at the say-so of the US?” Lady Goldie, for the government, insisted the request to intercept the ship came from the government of Gibraltar, but Foreign Office officials in the past have indicated the biggest factor in play was pressure from the US.

Speaking on the BBC, Nathalie Tocci, the special adviser to the EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, put the UK decision in a wider political context. “The UK is feeling its own fragility and a fear of isolation as it tries to cut off its membership from the EU. There’s a line connecting the Iran story and the UK ambassador to the US.”

Either way, once Grace 1 had been seized, UK shipping in the Gulf was in Iranian crosshairs. By the weekend, the British government was privately advising British flagged vessels not to carry oil through the Gulf, leading to an abrupt about-turn of a BP tanker, British Heritage, heading to collect oil in Basra. By Tuesday night the British government was lifting the code alert to level 3, the highest possible, and on Wednesday the giant British Heritage was interrupted by Iranian ships.

Curiously, media briefing about British Heritage, and the intervention by HMS Montrose, which warded off the Iranian boats by aiming its guns at them, came originally from the US, and not the Ministry of Defence...

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jul/11/is-the-us-nudging-britain-into-dangerous-waters-with-iran


...Iran has rejected the claims. Foreign minister Javad Zarif called the British allegations “worthless” in remarks to the semi-official Fars news agency. “Apparently the British tanker has passed. What [the British] have said themselves and the claims that have been made are for creating tension and these claims have no value,” Zarif said...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/11/uk-ships-in-gulf-on-high-alert-after-royal-navy-trains-guns-on-iranian-ships



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