Strait of Hormuz: Iran, British tensions

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The tensions between the UK and Iran have increased the key geographic point of view that 20 percent of the world's oil goes through.

The UK government called for a "de-escalation" on Thursday after three Iranian paramilitary ships attempted to block the British Heritage route, a 274-meter supertanker owned by British energy giant BP as it crossed the Strait of Hormuz.

Britain sent a Royal Navy ship to escort the merchant ship through the channel that is "vital" for global trade and asked Iran to support international law and allow freedom of navigation.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards denied being involved in the accident, saying that "there has been no comparison in the last 24 hours with foreign ships, including British ones".

However it comes after the organization has warned that Britain would "strongly regret" the interception of an Iranian oil tanker that the UK believed was destined for Syria last week, in violation of the sanctions of the United States. EU.

The Strait of Hormuz is a 33 km channel between Iran and the Oman in the Middle East, which is recognized as one of the most important and strategic water courses in the world.

It is flanked by Arab states on one side and Iran on the other, and links Middle Eastern oil producers to major global markets in Asia, North America and Europe.

At the narrowest point, it is just over 3 km wide with two navigation routes. However, deep water means that it can handle the largest tankers in the world and over 20% of the world's oil, about 15 million barrels a day, passes through it.

The incident comes in a context of growing tensions with Iran as the 2015 nuclear deal aims to stop the country that is developing a nuclear bomb from falling apart.

President Trump withdrew the US from the agreement and adopted a "maximum pressure" policy by increasing economic sanctions. Iran responded by breaking the key limits of uranium enrichment, making it difficult for EU leaders and the UK to argue that the terms of the 2015 agreement should stand.

Last month, President Trump announced a military attack on Iran, reportedly 10 minutes early, after Iran shot down a US drone that claimed to have violated the space Iranian plane.

Both China and Russia have demanded that the last situation be defused. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang urged the parties to "remain calm and in control", because what happens in the Strait can affect global resources.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that "freedom of navigation should be ensured in the Persian Gulf and in the Strait of Hormuz", as it is crucial for the global economy.

BP stated that "the top priority is the safety and security of our crews and ships".

Australia is consulting the Allies on increasing their presence in the region, since the Department of Defense is "deeply concerned about the growing tensions in the Gulf".

"We strongly condemn the recent attacks on navigation in the Gulf of Oman. Australia relies on the freedom of navigation and the uninterrupted passage of maritime trade," the spokeswoman told AAP on Wednesday.

"Obviously, Australia closely consults our allies and partners on the situation in the Middle East. We are closely following the situation, including through our embassies in the region."

– With wires

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