British tanker captured: US slams 'escalatory violence' by Iran
Washington, Jul 19: The United States accused Iran of "escalatory violence" on Friday after the country's Revolutionary Guards announced they had confiscated a British tanker in the strategic Strait of Hormuz.
"This is the second time in just over a week the UK has been the target of escalatory violence by the Iranian regime," National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis said in a statement.
"The US will continue to work with our allies and partners to defend our security and interests against Iran's malign behaviour," he added.
Iran's Revolutionary Guards announced Friday they had confiscated a British tanker in the strategic Strait of Hormuz for breaking "international maritime rules".
The Stena Impero tanker "was confiscated by the Revolutionary Guards at the request of Hormozgan Ports and Maritime Organisation when passing through the strait of Hormuz, for failing to respect international maritime rules," the Guards' official website Sepahnews announced.
The tanker "was led to the shore and handed over to the organisation to go through the legal procedure and required investigations," it said. Tanker tracking service Marine Traffic showed that the UK-flagged, Swedish-owned Stena Impero last signalled its location near the Island of Larak in the highly sensitive waterway at 9:00 PM local time.
The UK is "urgently seeking further information and assessing the situation following reports of an incident in the Gulf," a British government spokesperson said.
The announcement came just hours after Gibraltar's Supreme Court announced it would extend by 30 days the detention of an Iranian tanker seized two weeks ago on allegations that it was headed to Syria in violation of sanctions.