Royal Navy sees off Iranian boats trying to stop British tanker

Emily Mee – Sky News July 11, 2019

Screen shot of IRGC Navy patrol boat from a video taken by crew member of the USS Nitze during a confrontation near the Straits of Hormuz. Click to enlarge

Three Iranian boats tried to stop a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, the ministry of defence has said.

The boats withdrew after a warning from a British warship – HMS Montrose – operating in the area.

In a statement, a government spokesman said they were “concerned” by the incident and urged Iranian authorities “to de-escalate the situation in the region”.

The spokesman said: “Contrary to international law, three Iranian vessels attempted to impede the passage of a commercial vessel, British Heritage, through the Strait of Hormuz.

“HMS Montrose was forced to position herself between the Iranian vessels and British Heritage and issue verbal warnings to the Iranian vessels, which then turned away. We are concerned by this action and continue to urge the Iranian authorities to de-escalate the situation in the region.”

Initial reports from US officials suggested that five Iranian vessels were involved in the incident.

“The Royal Navy HMS Montrose, which was also there, pointed its guns at the boats and warned them over radio, at which point they dispersed,” one of the officials said.

“It was harassment and an attempt to interfere with the passage,” another official said.

The incident comes as the HMS Montrose warship was said to be offering extra protection to British Heritage in the Gulf following a threat from Iran to seize a British vessel.

Tensions have been rising since Royal Marines helped seize an Iranian-flagged tanker in Gibraltar which was allegedly carrying oil to Syria, in breach of European Union sanctions.

The capture of the Grace 1 tanker prompted Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to warn the UK of “consequences”.

“You (Britain) are the initiator of insecurity and you will realise the consequences later,” Rouhani said after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, according to the semi-official news agency Tasnim.

Brigadier General Amir Hatami also warned the UK its actions “will not go without a response”.

Tehran claimed the detention was an “illegal interception” and have demanded the tanker’s release.

But Gibraltar officials believe the 330m (1,000ft) tanker could have been carrying up to two million barrels of oil destined for Syria.

Iran has denied this and said the boat was headed “somewhere else”.

Gibraltar’s supreme court ruled last week the tanker could be held for another 14 days, the territory’s attorney general said.

The US has been leading a push for allies and other tankers that use the Strait of Hormuz to increase their maritime security in the region, safeguarding strategic waters off Iran and Yemen.

It alleges that Tehran was behind attacks on six oil tankers in the area.

Relations between the two countries have fractured since President Donald Trump pulled the US out of a nuclear deal with Iran and re-imposed sanctions.


6 responses to “Royal Navy sees off Iranian boats trying to stop British tanker”

  1. The source for this report has apparently come from two unknown US sources. As usual it does not add up. This is just more fake news from an increasing desperate Anglo/US Deep State.

  2. Gulf of Tonkin again?

  3. barney – correct. 3 or 5 small speed boats…..against a frigate! one cannot make this up.
    next time iran should send in two destroyers…..

  4. I think they are trying to play on the past news of speed boats harassing US warships.

    Yet even the US warships had crew who took mobile phone footage of this harassment, not one member of the HMS Montrose decided to film this alleged incident huh?
    Especially given they were attempting to harass, with a view to illegally detain the tanker…

    Funny how they justify seizing and Iranian tanker on suspicion alone, but then resort to using warships to prevent a retaliation to the incident they caused…

    If Iran wanted to get revenge seriously, they would simply use one of these speed boats to launch a Russian made anti ship missile, no warship would see it coming until it was too late, given the low profile of a speed boat, more than likely the launch would escape radar detection and the propellant smoke and flash would be minimal compared to a missile launched from an submerged sub or bunker.
    Any actions from Iran to date are simply warnings not to mess with them as they have proven capable of standing up for themselves (unlike, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, who all had antiquated militiary hardware and little to no real investment into modern systems at the time of their invasions/proxy wars).

  5. I was reading Michel de Nostradamus’s predictions a while back. Apparently, he predicted some huge ‘metal fish’ melting in the sea. It brings to mind that one or more of these harmless speedboats could be armed with some sort of nuclear device and used to obliterate these warships in and instant! Just a passing thought.

  6. Why is the footage of these things always crappy and grainy? The cheapest of the cheap mobile phones do better than this.