Tensions between London and Tehran have reached a new high after warship HMS Montrose was forced to warn off three Iranian ships who tried to stop the British Heritage, operated by BP, from entering the Strait of Hormuz. The Government has raised its ship security level to 3 to indicate the “critical” situation in the area for ships bearing the Union Jack. A British source said: “Level 3 for shipping security would be comparable to ‘critical’ and that is where there is a much-heightened risk.
“We went to level 3 for Iranian waters at the start of this week.”
However, the source added the UK wants to de-escalate tensions and will not escort every single British-flagged merchant vessel going through the Strait.
The source continued: “We will be resolute in defending UK maritime interests in the Gulf, but we have absolutely no interest in escalating the situation with Iran.”
And today Theresa May’s spokeswoman said talks with ongoing with American officials to build up a military presence in the region.
The UK Government accused three Iranian ships of approaching the British Heritage tanker in the strait, which represents the main outlet for Middle Eastern oil – which prompted the response of the Navy.
A Government spokesman explained…
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