UK warship dispatched to the Gulf to escort UK-flagged ships
A British warship dispatched to the Persian Gulf to escort UK-flagged ships amid heightened tension with Iran has arrived in the region, the defence ministry said.
A second warship has arrived in the Strait of Hormuz to protect British ships in the strategic waterway, as the foreign secretary urged Iran to “come out of the dark” and release a British-flagged tanker it detained there two weeks ago.
HMS Duncan was sent to help accompany vessels through the Strait of Hormuz after Iran seized a British-flagged tanker there earlier this month, in what London called an act of “State piracy”.
The Royal Navy destroyer joins frigate HMS Montrose, which is due to undergo maintenance in nearby Bahrain in late August. It will be replaced by another frigate, HMS Kent, later this year.
Britain has said it wants to establish a European-led maritime protection force in the Gulf to protect vulnerable shipping.HMS Montrose has so far accompanied 35 merchant vessels during 20 separate transits, according to the Royal Navy.
Britain has said it wants to establish a European-led maritime protection force in the Gulf to protect vulnerable shipping, while emphasising it is not seeking a confrontation with Iran.It has asked UK-flagged ships to give it notice when they plan to pass through the Strait of Hormuz, with HMS Montrose already having accompanied 35 merchant vessels during 20 separate transits, according to the Royal Navy.
Iran has previously slammed the move as “provocative”, criticising a wider British proposal to create a European-led naval mission to escort tankers in the Gulf.