Tehran signals it will not release British-flagged tanker until UK frees one of its vessels
The British foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, is under intense pressure to join US-led plans for an international maritime protection force in the Gulf as signs grow that Iran is preparing for a long standoff over the British-flagged tanker it has detained.
As Tehran signalled it would refuse to release the Steno Impero until the UK released an Iranian-flagged ship seized off the coast of Gibraltar a fortnight ago, the British government faced accusations it had failed to sufficiently guard its shipping in the Gulf.
(May 12, 2019)
The strait of Hormuz, which provides passage from the Gulf of Oman to the open sea, is the most important gateway for oil exports in the world. With Iran on its northern shore, and the UAE and Oman on its southern shore, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) calls it the world’s worst ‘chokepoint’