The vessel was seized on Friday in the Strait of Hormuz by the notorious Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Iranian officials claimed that the Stena Impero was “violating international maritime rules”.
The Iranian regime proceeded to provoke the United Kingdom by publishing videos of the raid and seizure via its state media outlets. The radio exchanges between Iranian armed forces vessels and a Royal Navy frigate. The Iranian vessel indicated that it wants to embark the Stena Impero for reasons to do with security.
In the video, guards wearing masks were seen dropping down from a helicopter onto the vessel. The Stena Impero was surrounded by high-speed Iranian vessels.
Iran’s ambassador to the United Kingdom has warned that the Iranian regime is “firm” and “ready for different scenarios” at this “sensitive time” in the region.
There are concerns that Iran-backed terror cells are preparing to strike the United Kingdom. Analysts believe that Iran has a number of terror cells the whole way across Europe, ready to spring into action should it be given the signal. There is no doubt that these terror cells are linked to the notorious Hezbollah group that has been linked to Iran for years.
It is well-known that the Iranian regime has proxies and militias across the region and the Lebanese Hezbollah presents a significant threat to the United Kingdom as tensions escalate.
The Department of Transport has said that the Stena Impero was in Omani waters at the time of the seizure. The IRGC then re-routed the vessel after seizing it. It has evidence in the form of naval charts to support its affirmation.
The UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has called on Iran to reverse its actions, stating that the seizure of the vessel in Omani waters constitutes a “clear contravention of international law”. He said that the situation is “totally and utterly unacceptable” and said that the United Kingdom is making it a priority to de-escalate relations between the two countries. However, he emphasised that Iran must release the vessel and the crew immediately.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has also commented on the situation, saying that it is clear the Iranian regime is sending a clear signal that is has no intentions of changing its behaviour. He said during a press conference that the Iranian regime must decide whether it wants to behave like a “normal nation” in order to be treated like one.
The Secretary of State also said that the Untied States has been trying to de-escalate the situation and to persuade Iran to come back to the negotiating table, but Iran is showing “no indications” that it is willing to comply.