August 18, 2019

Iran Captures British Tanker

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif arrives for a meeting at United Nations Headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., July 18, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Iran announced on July 19 that they have captured a British oil tanker that was heading through the Strait of Hormuz toward Saudi Arabia.

The owners of the Stena Impero ship said that the ship suddenly veered toward Qeshm, an Iranian island, after “unidentified small crafts and a helicopter” approached it. The owners have said they have been unable to contact the ship.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard has “a substantial base” on Qeshm, according to the UK Guardian.

Two United States defense officials confirmed that Iran seized the tanker to CNN.

The British government is currently undergoing emergency meetings to address the matter.

On July 4, the British apprehended an Iranian oil tanker nearby Gibraltar that they said was headed toward Syria. A Gibraltar extended Britain’s detention of the tanker for another 30 days on July 10. Iran was infuriated at the tanker’s apprehension, denouncing it as “piracy.”

The U.S. shot down an Iranian drone on July 18, saying that it was too close to the U.S.S. Boxer. Iran denied that the drone was theirs.

UPDATE: Iran has reportedly seized a second British tanker: