Iran confiscated two oil tankers operated by Britain on Friday in the Hormuz Strait, marking a new escalation of tensions between Tehran and the West. arrived from unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during the transit of the Strait of Hormuz while the ship was in international waters, Stena Bulk, the shipping company owning the ship, said in a statement. "We can not get in touch with the ship now heading north to Iran." Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces, in a statement on their website, say the ship is being held for "non-compliance with international maritime laws and regulations." and is being transferred to an unnamed Iranian port, according to Associated Press. Websites that track the ship's path show that it turned abruptly in the direction of the Iranian island of Kashm instead of its destination in Saudi Arabia.
"We are urgently looking for additional information and assessing the situation after reports of a bay incident" A British government spokesman told Fox News.
Stena Bulk says "there are no reports of injuries and their safety is of paramount importance to both owners and managers."
Approximately an hour later, a Liberian flag tanker run by a British company was also detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard of Iran (IRGC) and was spotted by the maritime tracking services that turn to Iran, later the Iranian Fars agency says the second ship, known as Mesdar, was warned
"I am extremely concerned about the seizure of two naval vessels by Iranian authorities in the Ha rmuz Strait," British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt said in a statement Friday, that the crews of the two ships "Pres but we understand that there are no British citizens on board. "
" Our Ambassador to Tehran is in contact with the Iranian Foreign Ministry to resolve the situation and work closely with the international partners, "said Hunt," These seizures are unacceptable. It is important that shipping freedom is maintained and all ships can move safely and freely in the region. "
President Trump said on Friday that Iran was" nothing but problems "and that" we heard we heard two, "the tankers were confiscated. "
"Iran shows its colors," the president told reporters before leaving the White House to spend the weekend at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. Their economy is collapsing, it comes to a catastrophe … It's very easy to get it right or it's very easy for us to get worse. "This is the second time in a little more than a week when Britain is targeting escalating violence by the Iranian regime," said National Security Council spokesman Gareth Marquis. "The United States will continue to work with our allies and partners to protect our security and interests against Iran's sinister attitude."
The Pentagon has no official statement about the situation, but Fox News has learned that there are no current plans for the US. warships to escort merchant ships across the Strait
At the end of Friday, the US Central Command said the United States had stepped up air patrols over the Strait of Hormuz. Lieutenant-General Earl Brown, a spokesman for the Central Command, said the US Navy Central Command was "in contact with US ships operating in the area to ensure their safety."
Seizures come two weeks after as British Royal Marines were seized. The Tibetan island of Gibraltar, according to the authorities, has shipped oil to Syria in violation of the EU sanctions. Iran warned the UK that it would face the "consequences" of this seizure that Tehran called "average and wrong". Last week, a British warship blocked three Iranian ships from seizing another tanker under the flag of Britain. Sanguinetti said in a statement that seizure is "in violation of international regulations that protect ships and their crews while they are engaged in legitimate international activities" and called on the British Government to do "what is necessary" to ensure the Safe and Fast Return of the ship's crew
Earlier Friday, Iran and the United States categorically disagreed with Washington's claim that a US warship dropped an Iranian unmanned airplane near the Persian Gulf. Iran said it just did not happen.
Neither party provided evidence to prove its claim. "he said categorically from the Iranian unmanned airplane:" We shot him. " But Pentagon and other officials have repeatedly said that the USS Boxer Amphibious Ship has actually blocked the unmanned plane's signal, causing it to crash and not firing a missile. Employees spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive technology.
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. As the president announced yesterday because it poses a threat to the ship and its crew, said John Bolton, a national security adviser.
In Iran, Iranian military said all its unmanned aircraft had returned safely to their base and denied that there had been a confrontation with the US boxer. Edson, Jennifer Griffin, Lucas Tomlinson, Vandana Rambaran, and Associated Press have contributed to this report.