Iran says it seized British oil tanker in Strait of Hormuz

In this undated photo issued Friday July 19, 2019, by Stena Bulk, showing the British oil tanker Stena Impero at unknown location, which is believed to have been captured by Iran. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard announced on their website Friday July 19, 2019, it has seized a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, the latest provocation in a strategic waterway that has become a flashpoint in the tensions between Tehran and the West. (Stena Bulk via AP)

By ROBERT BURNS,

AMIR VAHDAT and DAVID RISING

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Iran said Friday it seized a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, a fresh escalation in the strategic waterway that has become a flashpoint in tensions between Tehran and the West.

The tanker “Stena Impero” was taken to an Iranian port because it was not complying with “international maritime laws and regulations,” Iran’s Revolutionary Guard declared.

A statement from Stena Bulk, which owns the tanker, said it was unable to contact the ship after it was approached by unidentified vessels and a helicopter in the Strait of Hormuz.

The company said the tanker, with 23 crew aboard, was in international waters at the time but now appeared to be heading toward Iran.

The incident came just two days after Washington claimed that a U.S. warship downed an Iranian drone in the Strait. Iran denied that it lost an aircraft in the area.

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