Iran seizes British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz

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Iran has seized a British navy vessel in the Gulf region amid rising tensions between the two nations.

According to an audio recording obtained by the U.K., Britain's Stena Impero tanker was in the Strait of Hormuz on July 19 when an Iranian patrol vessel issued a radio instruction telling it to alter its direction.

Iranian authorities claimed the vessel was violating maritime rules by using an exit lane to enter the Strait, and said that they want to inspect the ship for security reasons.

Reuters cited a British letter to the U.N. Security Council as saying that Britain's HMS Montrose then contacted the Iranian vessel in order to prevent the Iranians from boarding the ship.The HMS Montrose warned that they would be violating international law by boarding the tanker unlawfully.

Footage obtained by Reuters shows masked Iranian Revolutionary Guards seizing the Stena Impero by descending from helicopters, similar to how British authorities captured an Iranian tanker a few weeks ago.

The footage also showed the tanker — with an Iranian flag hoisted on top — docked in an Iranian port.

Britain called the act 'hostile' but have yet to take action against Iran. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in a statement that while the move was "unacceptable," their priority is to "de-escalate the situation."

According to Sky News, Iran has suggested that its actions were a response to the UK detaining its oil tanker on July 4, with a spokesperson for Iran's Guardian Council saying "the rule of reciprocal action is well-known in international law."

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Iranian patrol vessel issuing radio instruction
2. British authorities contacting the Iranian patrol vessel
3. Iranian authorities descending from helicopters
4. The vessel parked with the flag being changed to Iran's

VOICEOVER (in English):
"According to an audio recording obtained by the U.K., Britain's Stena Impero tanker was in the Strait of Hormuz on July 19 when an Iranian patrol vessel issued a radio instruction telling it to alter its direction."

"Iranian authorities claimed the vessel was violating maritime rules by using an exit lane to enter the Strait, and said that they want to inspect the ship for security reasons."

"Reuters cited a British letter to the U.N. Security Council as saying that Britain's HMS Montrose then contacted the Iranian vessel in order to prevent the Iranians from boarding the ship."

"The HMS Montrose warned that they would be violating international law by boarding the tanker unlawfully."

"Footage obtained by Reuters shows masked Iranian Revolutionary Guards seizing the Stena Impero by descending from helicopters, similar to how British authorities captured an Iranian tanker a few weeks ago."

"Reuters reports the ship consisted of 23 crew members who were not British citizens."

"The footage also showed the tanker — with an Iranian flag hoisted on top — docked in an Iranian port."

SOURCES:Sky News, Reuters, CNN, Gov.uk
https://news.sky.com/story/alter-your-course-audio-of-moment-iranians-warn-uk-tanker-stena-impero-before-seizure-11767492
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-iran-tanker/iran-warns-uk-against-escalating-tensions-says-crew-of-seized-ship-safe-idUSKCN1UG05M
https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/21/middleeast/audio-recording-british-tanker-seized-iran-intl/index.html
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/foreign-secretary-statement-on-iranian-actions-in-the-strait-of-hormuz