UK offers ships naval escort after Iran oil tanker seizure

International

In this Sunday, July 21, 2019 photo, a speedboat of the Iran’s Revolutionary Guard moves around a British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero which was seized in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday by the Guard, in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. Global stock markets were subdued Monday while the price of oil climbed as tensions in the Persian Gulf escalated after Iran’s seizure of a British oil tanker on Friday. (Morteza Akhoondi/Mehr News Agency via AP)

LONDON (AP) — The U.K. government is offering British-flagged ships traveling through the Strait of Hormuz a Royal Navy escort after Iran seized a British oil tanker in the busy waterway last week.

The Department for Transport said on Thursday that if ships give advance notice of their plans they will be escorted by frigate HMS Montrose, either individually or in groups.

The escort is not compulsory, and Britain has limited naval resources in the region. On Friday the Montrose arrived too late to prevent the tanker Stena Impero from being seized by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard forces.

Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, suggested Wednesday that Stena Impero could be released if the U.K. takes similar steps to hand back an Iranian oil tanker seized by the Royal Navy off Gibraltar earlier this month.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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