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Iranian boats attempted to seize British tanker in Strait of Hormuz Updated: 2019-07-12 07:04:22 KST

A British oil tanker was blocked by three armed Iranian boats that tried to seize the tanker in the Gulf on Wednesday, but the attempt was foiled by a British warship.
For more on this and other news from around the world, let's turn to our Hong Yoo.
So Yoo, any idea why these Iranian boats were trying to block the tanker?

Well Mark, the Iranians wanted the tanker to change course from international waters to the nearby Iranian territorial waters, according to the British Defense Ministry.
Thankfully, physical confrontation was avoided as a British warship was escorting the tanker at the time and it successfully forced the Iranian boats to back off.
During their standoff, the British warship gave verbal warnings which made the Iranian boats to turn away.
Iran is denying any attempt to stop the tanker.
This encounter comes after British authorities seized an Iranian Syria-bound oil tanker on suspicion it was violating EU sanctions last Thursday.
Iran had warned that UK "will see the consequences" and an officer in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps had twitted that they would "take reciprocal action and seize a British oil tanker."
The U.S. State Department condemned the alleged Iranian attempt and the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for "maximum restraint."

"We commend the actions of the Royal Navy in ensuring freedom of navigation, and the free flow of commerce through this critically important waterway. We will continue to work closely with the United Kingdom and our allies to ensure the Iranian regime's malign activities do not further disrupt international law, maritime security or global commerce."

The latest incident comes amid rising concerns after Iran breached the 2015 nuclear deal exceeding the stockpile of enriched uranium regulated under the deal.
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