Update 1820 UTC Jul 19: Iran’s Revolutionary Guard says it has seized British oil tanker in Strait of Hormuz
This may be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Paint crosshairs on all IRGC assets, starting with radars, air defense, probably the entire Navy. Look for deep penetrators deploying forward.
If it resembles an Iranian small boat, color it gone.
Iran seizes UK-flagged Stena Impero tanker in the Strait of Hormuz
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said Friday that it has impounded a British-flagged oil tanker, the second foreign vessel seized by the Guards this week.
The IRGC said in a July 19 statement that it had “confiscated” the tanker for an alleged “failure to observe international maritime regulations.”
Earlier on Friday, the U.K.-flagged Stena Impero changed course in the Persian Gulf, turning for the islands of Larak and Qeshm – home to an IRGC base – in the Strait of Hormuz.
“Stena Bulk and Northern Marine Management can confirm that at approximately 1600 BST on 19th July U.K. registered vessel Stena Impero (built 2018, 49,683 DWT) was approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the Strait of Hormuz while the vessel was in international waters. We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north towards Iran,” the ship’s owners said in a Friday statement.
There are 23 crew on board, the statement said.
“Northern Marine Management has not been able to establish contact directly with the vessel since it was notified of the incident at approximately 1600 Today, 19th July 2019.”
The vessel is the second foreign oil tanker seized by the IRGC this week. On Sunday, the force said it had impounded the Panamanian-flagged tanker Riah, which it accused of smuggling fuel.
The U.K. Ministry of Defence said it was “urgently seeking further information” about the tanker.