Britain to deploy second warship to the Gulf amid tensions with Iran

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British warship HMS Duncan’s rotation into the Gulf was moved forward by a number of days as tensions with Iran mounted. (AFP)
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The aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln pulls alongside the fast combat support ship Arctic during a replenishment-at-sea in this May 19, 2019. The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the US’s 5th Fleet area operations, which includes the Arabian Gulf. (Navy Office of Information/AFP)
Updated 13 July 2019

Britain to deploy second warship to the Gulf amid tensions with Iran

  • Relations between Tehran and the West have been increasingly strained
  • Talks between Britain and the US on building up their military presence in the Gulf are ongoing

LONDON: Britain said on Friday it would deploy the destroyer HMS Duncan warship to the Gulf to replace HMS Montrose, maintaining a continuous presence there during a time of heightened tension in the region.

Relations between Tehran and the West have been increasingly strained after Britain seized an Iranian tanker in Gibraltar and London said HMS Montrose had to fend off Iranian vessels which sought to block a British-owned tanker passing through the Strait of Hormuz.

“As part of our long-standing presence in the Gulf, HMS Duncan is deploying to the region to ensure we maintain a continuous maritime security presence while HMS Montrose comes off task for pre-planned maintenance and crew change over,” the government said.

“This will ensure that the UK alongside international partners can continue to support freedom of navigation for vessels transiting through this vital shipping.”

Discussions between Britain and the United States on building up their military presence in the Gulf are ongoing, Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokeswoman said on Friday amid tensions with Iran.

Britain is not seeking to escalate the situation with Iran, foreign minister Jeremy Hunt said on Friday, as tensions continue between London and Tehran over a seized Iranian tanker and the passage of vessels through the Strait of Hormuz.
"We are reacting to what is happening in a measured and careful way and we are being clear to Iran that we are not seeking to escalate this situation," Jeremy Hunt told Sky News.

Bahrain said on Friday it "strongly condemned" what it called an Iranian attempt to intercept a British tanker in the Gulf, according to a statement from its foreign ministry.
"This hostile action embodies Iran's insistence on threatening security and peace, and harming maritime navigation," the statement said.

Relations between Tehran and the West have been increasingly strained after Britain seized an Iranian tanker in Gibraltar and London said the British Heritage, operated by oil company BP, had been approached in the strait between Iran and the Arabian peninsula.
“We are talking to the US about building on our presence in the face of recent threats to shipping in the area,” May’s spokeswoman said on Friday.


Iran condemns US show of support for ‘rioters’

Updated 18 November 2019

Iran condemns US show of support for ‘rioters’

  • Protests erupted in Iran on Friday, hours after it was announced the price of petrol would rise to 15,000 rials a liter
  • ‘The dignified people of Iran know well that such hypocritical remarks do not carry any honest sympathy’

TEHRAN: Iran condemned the United States’ support for “rioters” in a statement issued late Sunday, after two days of violent protests in the Islamic republic against a petrol price hike.
The foreign ministry said that it was reacting to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s “expression of support... for a group of rioters in some cities of Iran and condemned such support and interventionist remarks.”
Protests erupted in Iran on Friday, hours after it was announced the price of petrol would rise to 15,000 rials a liter (12 US cents) from 10,000 for the first 60 liters and to 30,000 rials for any extra fuel bought after that each month.
In a tweet on Saturday, Pompeo said in response to the demonstrations that “the United States is with you.”
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi slammed his comments in Sunday night’s statement.
“The dignified people of Iran know well that such hypocritical remarks do not carry any honest sympathy,” Mousavi was quoted as saying.
“The acts of a rioter and saboteur group supported by the likes of (Pompeo) have no congruity with the conduct of the wise Iranian people.”
The statement blasted Washington’s “ill-intent” over its decision to reimpose sanctions on Tehran after the US withdrawal in May last year from the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
“It’s curious that the sympathizing is being done with the people who are under the pressure of America’s economic terrorism,” Mousavi said.

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