Unic Press UK: Following reports by several news agencies that U.S. officials said a British warship prevented an attempt by Iranian small boats to direct a British oil tanker towards Iran’s territorial waters, the Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has issued a statement dismissing the claims.
The Public Relations Department of the IRGC Navy’s Fifth Naval Zone in a statement said: “Patrols by the IRGC’s Navy vessels have been underway in the Persian Gulf based on current procedures and missions assigned to them with vigilance, precision and strength. In the past 24 hours, there has been no encounter with foreign ships, including British ones,” Press TV reports.
It was yesterday that the ABC News Network reported that: “The Iranians radioed the British Heritage to change course and move toward Iranian territorial waters. HMS Montrose, a British frigate, was 5 miles away monitoring the tanker’s transit when the Iranian boats approached. The British warship sped toward the tanker’s location and got in between the five Iranian boats and the British tanker, said the U.S. officials.”
Last week an Iranian oil tanker – a 330 metre (1,000 feet) Grace 1 vessel – was seized/impounded by British forces in the Strait of Gibraltar as the U.S. and its allies makes additional steps to enforce sanctions against Iran.
There’s been intense tensions between the U.S. and Iran over the years, escalating last year, May 8, 2018, when the U.S. government withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal – also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, (JCPOA) – and imposed another round of U.S. sanctions against Iran.
U.S. President Donald Trump had claimed that the JCPOA – Iran nuclear deal – remains a bad deal for the world and the United States, insisting that a new agreement is long overdue.
Washington says it’s open to a negotiation on a fresh deal, but Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif said in May 2019 that there won’t be talks, labeling the U.S. a “bully.”