- Britain has announced protective measures under European leadership for ships in the Strait of Hormuz.
- Thus, the safe passage of ships through the strategically important strait is guaranteed, says Foreign Minister Hunt.
- Foreign Minister Maas says Germany and France voted “very, very closely” with Great Britain.
The British government is planning a “maritime defense operation under European leadership” for the Strait of Hormuz. This is to ensure the safe passage of ships through the strategically important strait. Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt said Monday after a crisis meeting in which the government was responding to the seizure of the British-flagged tanker Stena Impero through Iran. Hunt spoke of an “act of state piracy”.
A spokesperson for outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May said, “We do not seek to confront Iran, but it is unacceptable and escalating to confiscate a ship that does legitimate business and travels on an international waterway.” Iran had to release the ship immediately, it had been applied under false pretense.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) said Germany and France voted “very, very closely” with Britain: “We do not want any further escalation, but we have to acknowledge that there are incidents that need to be dealt with.” With regard to the nuclear deal with Iran, Maas added after talks with his French colleague Jean-Yves Le Drian that all three states would not join the US strategy.
17 spies of the CIA arrested
It is important to continue to play the diplomatic card. The crisis over the tanker makes mediation efforts that France's President Emmanuel Macron recently launched. Iran also announced that 17 CIA spies were arrested, all of Iranian nationality. Some were sentenced to death, others were now working for Iran. US President Donald Trump rejected the information on Twitter as the lies of a “religious regime”.
Officially, Iran accuses the Stena Impero crew of rammed an Iranian fishing boat and violated international safety regulations. But leaders in Tehran made it clear that the ship was being set in response to the seizure of a tanker used by Iran. Gibraltar had the tanker with the help of British soldiers Grace 1 stopped in its territorial waters on 4 July on suspicion of violating EU sanctions. The move is legally controversial, Iran spoke of “piracy”.
In a statement by the State Department, Oman called on all parties to “respect maritime borders and maritime law and avoid exposing the region to shipping risks.” According to data from the transponder and consistent information from the operator and the British government, special units of the Revolutionary Guards had raised the Stena Impero in Omani waters. Oman's Foreign Minister Yousef Bin Alawi will be visiting Teheran on Saturday for “recent regional developments,” he said. Oman maintains close relations with both Britain and Iran.
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