Iran's seizure of two ships 'unacceptable': UK

Morning Top 5 UK labels Irani

Morning Top 5 UK labels Irani

Iran's seizure of the British tanker is being widely viewed as a retaliatory act. Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics has contacted EU Foreign Affairs Chief Federica Mogherini and British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt to coordinate the release efforts on a EU level.

The U.K. government has been increasing pressure on Iran to release the tanker.

British officials have been in contact with the United Kingdom ambassador in Tehran, who has in turn reached out to the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Fars News released a video showing the moment Friday when Iranian naval vessels and a helicopter seized the United Kingdom -flagged tanker Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz. "These seizures are unacceptable".

Hunt said he had spoken to US Secretary of State Pompeo to discuss the situation, and expected to speak to his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, who he said was now in a plane, according to Reuters.

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The Philippines also said it would ask Iran to free a Filipino crew member on the Swedish-owned Stena Impero which was seized on Friday, as tensions mount in a key waterway for the world's oil supplies.

The ship was transiting the Strait of Hormuz and in "international waters" when it was "attacked by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter", the owner of the tanker said.

Hunt said the COBR meeting was called to review what in known and what can be done to swiftly secure the release of the two vessels - a British-flagged vessel and a Liberian-flagged vessel.

She added: "As the Foreign Secretary has said, our response will be considered and robust and there will be serious consequences if the situation is not resolved".

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