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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Maritime security in the Gulf: UK government response

This page sets out the government's initial response, during June and July 2019, to growing tensions following the impounding of tankers by Iran in the Gulf.

21 July 2019

Stena Impero seized in the Strait of Hormuz

On 19 July Iranian authorities seized the British-flagged vessel, Stena Impero, in Omani waters in clear contravention of international law. Following a ministerial COBR meeting on 20 July, the Foreign Secretary gave a statement on iranian actions in the Strait of Hormuz.

The UK Mission to the United Nations in New York, on behalf of the UK government, sent a letter to the President of the United Nations Security Council setting out the facts about the incident.

Grace 1 detained off the coast of Gibraltar

On 4 July the Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 was detained during a a government of Gibraltar-led operation to uphold EU sanctions on Syria. The Foreign Secretary spoke with the Chief Minister of Gibraltar and with the Iranian Foreign Minister about the Grace 1 tanker.

On 15 July the Foreign Secretary attended the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels. Before his visit, he gave a statement on Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal and also commented on the detention of the Grace 1 and the rights of commercial ships in the Gulf.

Tankers attacked in the Gulf of Oman

The UK government is almost certain that a branch of the Iranian military attacked 2 tankers on 13 June. The Foreign Secretary condemned the attacks on civilian shipping, and called on Iran to cease all forms of destabilising activity. Read the UK statement on the attacks in the Gulf of Oman.


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