Five armed boats of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards apparently attempted to seize a British oil tanker as it passed through the Straits of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf.
The Iranian gunboats approached the British oil tanker, calling on it to stop and change its direction. The British naval warship HMS Montrose (pictured) approached, aimed its cannons at the Iranian gunboats and broadcast a warning to the Revolutionary Guard militants to leave the area. The Iranian boats retreated quickly from the scene.
The incident comes a week after the British Navy arrested an Iranian tanker in Gibraltar along with 28 crew members who were transferring oil to Syria, bypassing international sanctions.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had threatened that Britain would pay a heavy price for stopping the Iranian tanker. “Britain initiated the insecurity and will understand the implications for it later,” he said.
Mohsen Rezai, a senior Revolutionary Guards commander, said that “Britain should be very frightened of the measures that Iran intends to take against the illegal attack on our oil tanker.”
Meanwhile, the US announced that they are building a coalition of nations to put an end to Iranian aggressions against commercial shipping in the Persian Gulf, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, said in a press conference on Tuesday.
Israeli public radio reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called special meeting with his security cabinet that lasted close to four hours “in the shadow of the growing tensions in the Persian Gulf.” The report said that this was already the second time in a week that the cabinet convened to discuss the Iranian aggression in the Gulf.