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Publish Date : 01 August 2019 - 06:39  ,  
News ID: 5977
TEHRAN(Basirat): Oil and gas company BP says it has no plans to take any of its vessels through the Strait of Hormuz where Iranian forces recently detained a British-flagged oil tanker for “violating international maritime rules”.
Royal Navy destroyer HMS Duncan purportedly passes through the Suez Canal into the Persian Gulf in this handout photo released July 28, 2019. (Photo by Reuters)
Royal Navy destroyer HMS Duncan purportedly passes through the Suez Canal into the Persian Gulf in this handout photo released July 28, 2019. (Photo by Reuters)

The British company’s Chief Financial Officer Brian Gilvary said BP has not taken any of its oil tankers through the narrow strait near the Iranian shore since tensions mounted early this month.

It is instead using chartered tankers to ship oil out of the strategically important waterway where almost a fifth of the world’s oil passes.

The refusal of BP’s oil tankers to navigate in the Strait of Hormuz flies in the face of the UK Royal Navy’s boasts that it had dispatched the guided-missile destroyer HMS Duncan to join the frigate HMS Montrose in the Persian Gulf to protect vessels.

Montrose had to back off when an Iranian naval patrol seized a UK-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz on July 19.

Iranian commandos apprehended the Stena Impero after it hit a fishing boat and tried to escape. It also violated international maritime law by turning off its signaling for longer than is allowed and passing through the wrong channels.

The seizure came two weeks after Britain held an Iranian supertanker transporting 2 million barrels of crude oil off Gibraltar.

The captain of the Iranian oil tanker told the BBC on Tuesday that the British troops used "brute force” when they seized the ship.

PressTV-Captain of Iran ship seized by UK says ‘brute force’ used

An Indian national who asked to remain anonymous, the captain of the Grace 1 said the Royal Marines forced his crew to kneel at gunpoint after landing on the ship in a helicopter.

"There was no regulations… we had 28 unarmed crew. I was in a state of shock, everybody was in a state of shock,” he said.

"How do you come on a ship like this with armed forces and such brute force. For what reason?” he added.

The captain’s account of the seizure contradicted a statement from police in Gibraltar, who claimed that "minimum force” had been used.

The UK has figured prominently in rising US tensions with Iran, with local officials in Gibraltar saying the seizure of the Iranian supertanker was made on Washington’s request.  

Britain is currently seeking to set up a maritime mission in the Strait of Hormuz, but the Europeans are cautious about the risk of being pulled into a war.

The German Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday the government made no promises after “the US recently presented its concept of a naval observation mission in the Persian Gulf to a number of its allies, including Germany, and asked them to participate”.

“Participation in the US strategy of 'maximum pressure' is ruled out for us,” the ministry said.


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