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International News

Jul 28, 2019
5:25PM

Iran terms European naval mission in Gulf as provocative

AIR
Iran today termed as provocative a British proposal for a European-led naval mission to escort tankers in the Gulf, amid soaring tensions over the seizure of ships.

Government spokesman Ali Rabiei said, the intention to send a European fleet to the Persian Gulf which naturally carries a hostile message, is provocative and will increase tensions.

Britain said on Monday, it was planning a European-led force to escort tankers through the world's busiest oil shipping lane in response to Iran's seizure of a UK-flagged vessel on July 19.

The seizure of the Stena Impero came two weeks after British authorities detained an Iranian tanker -- the Grace 1 -- off its overseas territory Gibraltar on allegations it was breaching EU sanctions on Syria.

In his comments, Mr Rabiei said, Iran believed the security of the oil-rich Gulf had to be maintained by countries in the region.

Britain on Thursday ordered its navy to escort UK-flagged ships through the Strait of Hormuz, where the Stena Impero was seized by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

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