Iran says tanker 'ignored distress call', taken to Bandar Abbas port

By Canadian Press	
	 		Trump says American warship destroyed Iranian drone				Jul 18 2019

By Canadian Press Trump says American warship destroyed Iranian drone Jul 18 2019

What does the Iranian video purportedly show?

The Government said it remains "deeply concerned" by the "unacceptable" seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker by Iranian authorities in the Persian Gulf.

The Strait of Hormuz is the narrow waterway that controls access to the Persian Gulf, through which a fifth of the world's oil is traded.

"Nothing but trouble." The Stena Impero had been heading for Saudi Arabia on Friday when it hit a fishing vessel, according to port authorities at Bandar Abbas, off which the tanker is now anchored.

"Their crews comprise a range of nationalities, but we understand there are no British citizens on board either ship". It showed the vessel's destination as the Saudi port of Jubail on the Gulf.

The announcement came just hours after Gibraltar's Supreme Court announced it would extend by 30 days the detention of an Iranian tanker seized two weeks ago on allegations that it was headed to Syria in violation of sanctions.

Iranian Revolutionary Guards detained a British vessel in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday.

CBS News was traveling in Afghanistan with General Frank McKenzie, the top US military commander for the Middle East, when the two British tankers were seized.

"This has (to) be about actions not words if we are to find a way through".

Hunt said "due process" will continue in the Grace 1 case to determine what happens to the tanker and its cargo and called for Iran to also follow legal norms.

The escalation comes more than a year after Washington unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement and began ratcheting up sanctions against Tehran.

Trump had said Thursday night that the USS Boxer destroyed the drone at a distance of about 1,000 yards after it appeared to pose a threat to the warship.

The ongoing showdown has caused jitters around the globe, with each maneuver bringing fear that any misunderstanding or misstep by either side could lead to war.

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On June 20, Iran shot down an American drone in the same waterway.

The alleged incident came after Iran shot down a US drone last month, almost sparking retaliatory strikes.

"The Iranians don't have a great history with the truth", responded a senior US official to the assertion from Tehran.

One report denied that the IRGC had seized the Liberia-flagged tanker Mesdar, saying that it only warned the vessel to respect environmental regulations.

India's foreign ministry spokesman, Raveesh Kumar, said Saturday its diplomats were "in touch with the Government of Iran to secure the early release and repatriation" of the 18 Indian crew members on the Stena Impero.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) has released a video showing the moment its operatives captured the UK-flagged tanker Stena Impero.

The company that owns the ship said the vessel was in full compliance with all worldwide regulations when it was intercepted Friday by "unidentified small crafts and a helicopter" during its transit through the Strait of Hormuz.

But Iran's standoff with Britain carries its own complications.

There was a brief standoff between the British navy and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels recently.

British government officials are calling the detention of the two tankers a violation of the free passage of vessels in worldwide waters.

According to the operator Northern Marine the vessel was approached by helicopters and other ships.

Experts said Iranian officials are trying to demonstrate to the USA and its allies that the Islamic Republic is able to push back and gain leverage against the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" policy, which intensified after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the landmark nuclear deal in May 2018 and reimposed crippling sanctions, making it hard for Iran to export oil, the foundation of the country's economy.

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