RFL/RE – British tanker in the strategic Strait of Hormuz but were driven off by a Royal Navy vessel.
The CNN news channel, citing two U.S. officials, reported late on July 10 that the Iranians ordered the British Heritage oil tanker crossing the strait to change course and stop in Iranian territorial waters nearby.
But the incident ended when the HMS Montrose, which was acting as an escort for the tanker, pointed its guns at the Iranian boats as a warning, forcing them to back off, CNN said.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency, said on July 11 that the “situation is very concerning” and blamed the incident on “Washington’s deliberate, premeditated course to exacerbate tensions.”
U.S. President Donald Trump threatened on July 10 to ratchet up sanctions on Iran and again denounced the 2015 nuclear deal Iran signed with world powers as the UN nuclear watchdog held an emergency meeting on Tehran’s breach of the deal.
“Sanctions will soon be increased, substantially!” Trump said on Twitter.
Trump last year pulled the United States out of the deal, which offered Tehran sanctions relief in exchange for significant curbs on its sensitive nuclear activities.
Iran had been complying with the deal, but over the weekend it increased its uranium enrichment beyond limits set in the accord in an attempt to pressure European countries to find a way around U.S. sanctions.