Update: Another tanker, Scottish-owned, was reportedly seized. New reports say they were stopped by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and warned about some trumped-up violations and then let go.
A tanker transporting oil under a British flag was seized in the Gulf by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. This took place at about 16:00 BST. It was in international waters at the time.
The owners of the Stena Impero say it was bound for Saudi Arabia and they have not been about to contact the vessel. It is “heading north towards Iran”.
There are 23 personnel on board and, so far, there are no injuries reported. The owners and managers are most concerned about their safety.
The tanker was approached by “unidentified small crafts and a helicopter” in the Strait of Hormuz.
The government’s emergency committee, Cobra, is meeting in Whitehall about the incident.
Stena Bulk, the vessel owner, and ship manager Northern Marine Management confirmed the UK-registered Stena Impero was approached by the Revolutionary Guards.
A statement said: “We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north towards Iran.
“There have been no reported injuries and their safety is of primary concern to both owners and managers.”
Iran is looking for trouble as their economy suffers under U.S. sanctions. There are increased tensions between the UK and Iran.
National Security Council Spokesman Garrett Marquis said the U.S. is also aware of the reports.
“This is the second time in just over a week the UK has been the target of escalatory violence by the Iranian regime,” he said in a statement to Fox News. “The U.S. will continue to work with our allies and partners to defend our security and interests against Iran’s malign behavior.”
The seizure comes after Iran last week warned Britain that it will face “repercussions” over the “mean and wrong” seizure of one its supertankers in early July. Authorities believe it was operating in violation of European Union sanctions.