Iran forces warned off UK warship during tanker seizure – audio



Newly released radio communications show Revolutionary Guards warning British sailors on HMS Montrose not to put their ‘life in danger’ by interfering in capture of Stena Impero
Source: Agence France Presse (AFP) via Time of Israel (TOI)
In this Sunday, July 21, 2019 photo, two armed members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard inspect the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero, which was seized in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday by the Guard, in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas (Morteza Akhoondi/Mehr News Agency via AP)

Iranian forces warned a British warship’s crew against putting their “life in danger” during the seizure of a tanker this month, in a new recording of the incident released Monday.

The audio message was accompanied by aerial video footage of a warship thought to be the HMS Montrose, which the UK defense ministry says has now been joined in Gulf waters by another warship, the HMS Duncan.

“British warship Foxtrot 236, this is Sepah navy patrol boat: you are required not to interfere in this issue,” an Iranian naval officer can be heard saying in the recording aired on state TV.

An officer on board the warship responds: “This is British warship Foxtrot 236: I am in vicinity of an internationally recognized strait with a merchant vessel in my vicinity conducting transit passage.”

The Iranian officer replies: “British warship Foxtrot 236, this is Sepah navy patrol boat: don’t put your life in danger.”

Iranian state television also released recordings of another incident on July 10.

“This is British warship Foxtrot 236, go ahead,” a British naval officer can be heard saying.

His Iranian counterpart responds by saying: “British warship Foxtrot 236, this is Sepah navy warship… your tanker British Heritage under my control. You are ordered do not to interference in my operation.”

Britain said on July 11 that three Iranian vessels attempted to “impede the passage” of the British Heritage commercial oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz.

A picture taken on July 21, 2019, shows an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp ship patrolling around the British-flagged tanker Stena Impero as it’s anchored off the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas. (Hasan Shirvani/Mizan News Agency/AFP)

Tensions have been escalating in the region for weeks, with US President Donald Trump last month calling off at the last minute an airstrike on Iran over its downing of a US spy drone.

Tehran has suggested the July 19 seizure of the Stena Impero was in retaliation for UK Royal Marines helping Gibraltar authorities detain an Iranian tanker in the Mediterranean Sea two weeks earlier.