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Old 07-11-2019, 01:21 PM
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Arrow Iran says it could have defeated Royal Navy if it wanted to

Iran says it could have defeated Royal Navy if it wanted to
By: Neil Shaw - PlymouthLive - 7-11-19
RE: https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/new...-royal-3079196

The Revolutionary Guard has denied claims three ships were beaten by HMS Montrose.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard has denied claims that Devonport warship HMS Montrose prevented three of the nation's ships from seizing a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz.

A spokesman for the guard said if it had received orders to seize any ships it would have done so immediately.


In a statement carried by the semi-official Fars news agency, the Revolutionary Guard's navy insisted there had been no clashes with foreign ships, "especially British boats".

The Royal Navy said it has driven off three Iranian vessels which tried to stop a commercial vessel from travelling through the Strait of Hormuz.

The altercation came a day after Iran spoke out against Britain due to the interception of a supertanker believed to be breaching EU sanctions by carrying a shipment of crude oil to Syria.

"Contrary to international law, three Iranian vessels attempted to impede the passage of a commercial vessel, British Heritage, through the Strait of Hormuz," a Ministry of Defence spokesman told PA.

"HMS Montrose was forced to position herself between the Iranian vessels and British Heritage and issue verbal warnings to the Iranian vessels, which then turned away.

"We are concerned by this action and continue to urge the Iranian authorities to deescalate the situation in the region."

Iranian Foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed the British account as "worthless", saying the claims were being made to "create tension".

On Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was quoted by the official IRNA news agency during a Cabinet meeting as saying last week's seizure of the supertanker off Gibraltar was "mean and wrong".

He warned London: "You are an initiator of insecurity and you will understand its repercussions," without elaborating.

The seizure and incident in the Strait of Hormuz come at a particularly sensitive time as tensions between the US and Iran grow over the unravelling of a 2015 nuclear deal, which President Donald Trump withdrew from last year.

European parties to the nuclear deal with Iran on Tuesday said they have "deep concern" that Tehran has begun enriching uranium to a higher purity than allowed under the agreement and called for an urgent meeting of all involved in the accord.

In a joint statement by Britain, Germany, France and the European Union, the group expressed "deep concern that Iran is not meeting several of its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action", or JCPOA, as the 2015 nuclear deal is known.

The US has said it will move ahead with plans to build a coalition of nations to monitor and deter Iranian threats against commercial shipping in the Persian Gulf area and in a waterway around Yemen, according to a top military officer.

Marine General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Pentagon has developed a specific plan, and that he believes it will be clear within a couple of weeks which nations are willing to join the effort.

Gen Dunford said he discussed the matter on Tuesday with acting secretary of defence Mark Esper and secretary of state Mike Pompeo, and that plans are coming together.

"We're getting ready now to move out," Gen Dunford told a small group of reporters at Fort Myer, Virginia.

"We have a pretty clear concept of what we want to do."

British Heritage is a BP Century class Suezmax tanker, the largest to be able to travel through the Suez Canal and capable of carrying more than one million barrels of oil, according to the BP Shipping website.

Registered at the port of Douglas, in the Isle of Man, the ship is operated by BP usually with a crew of around 25 people.
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O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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Old 07-11-2019, 01:25 PM
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Arrow Royal Navy on high alert for Iran threat to British merchant ships amid ‘critical’ se

Royal Navy on high alert for Iran threat to British merchant ships amid ‘critical’ security level
By: Guy Faulconbridge - INews - 7-11-19
RE: https://inews.co.uk/news/world/royal...e-gulf-region/

It has emerged that Britain had raised its ship security level to 3, the highest category, for British-flagged ships in Iranian waters

Photo link: https://images-i.jpimedia.uk/imagefe...afp_1il8a0.jpg
On any given day there are about 15 to 30 large British-flagged ships in the Gulf area (Photo: HO/ MOD / AFP)

The Royal Navy will not escort every British-flagged merchant vessel through the Strait of Hormuz, a security source said – despite a warship having to warn off three Iranian vessels from blocking the passage of a BP-operated tanker and British vessels being warned of a “critical” security risk.

On any given day there are about 15 to 30 large British-flagged ships in the Gulf area, with up to three passing through the Strait of Hormuz.

But Britain does not wish to further escalate tensions by having a warship accompany every one of its tankers close to Iranian waters, it is claimed.

Exactly a week after Britain seized an Iranian tanker accused of violating sanctions on Syria, the UK said the British Heritage tanker operated by oil company BP had been approached in the strait, the main outlet for Middle Eastern oil.

“HMS Montrose was forced to position herself between the Iranian vessels and British Heritage and issue verbal warnings to the Iranian vessels, which then turned away,” a UK Government spokesman said.

It emerged that Britain had raised its ship security level to 3, the highest category, for British-flagged ships in Iranian waters.

“Level 3 for shipping (security) would be comparable to ‘critical’ and that is where there is a much-heightened risk… ,” the British source said. “We went to level 3 for Iranian waters at the start of this week.

“We will be resolute in defending UK maritime interests in the Gulf but we have absolutely no interest in escalating the situation with Iran” the source added.
Britain has urged Iran to “de-escalate the situation in the region”.

‘Critical’ security level

2nd photo link: https://images-i.jpimedia.uk/imagefe...19/06/oman.jpg
An Iranian navy boat tries to control fire on the Front Altair tanker (Photo: AFP/Getty)

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed as “worthless” the allegation that Iran sought to block the ship.

But the US blames Iran for a series of attacks on shipping in the world’s most important oil artery since mid-May, accusations Tehran rejects.

The foes came as close as ever to direct military conflict last month, when Iran shot down a US drone and Donald Trump ordered retaliatory air strikes, only to call them off minutes before impact.

Diplomatic crisis
Britain stepped into the crisis when its Royal Marines seized the Iranian tanker Grace 1 off the coast of Gibraltar last week.

Iranian officials have since been quoted as suggesting that Iran might retaliate.

Although EU states have not followed Washington in imposing sanctions on Iran, they have forbidden selling oil to Iran’s ally Syria.

Police in Gibraltar have arrested the captain and chief officer of the detained Iranian supertanker accused of violating EU sanctions on Syria and seized documents and electronic devices from the ship.

REUTERS
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Boats

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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