Iran’s IRGC (Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps) recently seized the British ship Stena Impero. She had a crew of 23 but none of them are British nationals.
Two weeks prior to this event British marines seized an Iranian oil tanker on suspicion of shipping oil to Syria.
Foreign Minister of Islamic Republic of Iran, Javad Zarif, responded:
He also made a statement over the seizure of Stena Impero:
According to an Iranian official, the seized UK tanker had experienced an incident with an Iranian fishing boat in the Strait of Hormuz before being taken by the IRGC. The IRGC claimed it took action because the ship did not respond to distress calls and failed to respect maritime rules.
All of its 23 crew members will remain on the ship until the probe is over. - Iranian Official
Stena Bulk, Swedish transport company and owner of the vessel, insists the tank was in full compliance with laws and regulations. They did not receive any reports of injury among the crew during the seizure.
There are also reports of a second ship, British tanker Mesdar, being momentarily bordered then released. Iran denies this.
Footage of the vessel was published by the news agency Tasnim:
Iran's responsive seizure of the British tanker is being viewed as escalation. Germany and France have both condemned the move.
Britain warns that there will be serious consequences if the tankers are not released.
Along with this the U.S. is sending several hundred troops and munitions to Saudi Arabia.
This comes at a time when Saudi Arabia is looking to avoid the Strait of Hormuz by building an oil port in Yemen.
Back on June 24th, Pompeo began recruiting allies for a program called "Sentinel." In this program tankers and other ships (military and commercial) in the Persian Gulf are equipped with cameras in order to monitor threats from Iran.
This is having eyes on. So it’s not about shooting at people. It’s about shooting pictures of Iranians. It’s about proactive deterrents because Iranians just want to go out and do what they want to do and say, ‘Hey, we didn’t do it.’ We know what they’ve done.
- Senior State Department Official
Pompeo was heard telling Mohammed bin Zayed, crown prince of Abu Dhabi, this:
We'll need you all to participate, your military folks. The president is keen on sharing that the United States doesn’t bear the cost of this.
Sentinel is made up of:
all sorts of nations that want to preserve the freedom of navigation in what is the world’s most important shipping way
- State Department Official
With every attack conducted by an Iranian proxy, the regime tacks another day onto its 40-year track record of spreading death and chaos in the region, and beyond
President Trump's response: