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Gov't working on release of Filipino seafarer after Iran seized tanker

22 July 2019

The Sun reported that in April, Britain withdrew two wildcat helicopters that could have spotted the seizure was in danger of happening, saying they were "no longer needed". "The Stena Impero was outside Iranian waters and legitimately carrying out its business", said Bob Sanguinetti, CEO of the UK Chamber of Shipping.

After the new Islamic republic, led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, consolidated its power, Hezbollah began to attack Iranian citizens who drank alcohol, mingled with the opposite sex, or were not dressed modestly enough. Defence minister Tobias Ellwood on Sunday reiterated calls for a tamping down of tensions.

Iran on Saturday seized a British-flagged vessel. "We will be speaking with our colleagues, our global allies, to see what can actually be done".

In this undated photo issued Friday July 19, 2019, by Stena Bulk, showing the British oil tanker Stena Impero at unknown location, which is believed to have been captured by Iran.

Jeremy Hunt has said Tehran's actions showed "worrying signs Iran may be choosing a risky path of illegal and destabilising behaviour".

The audio released by maritime security risk firm Dryad Global shows that a British frigate was too far away from the targeted tanker to keep it from being diverted into an Iranian port despite United Kingdom efforts to keep it from being boarded.

The move has increased the fear of potential supply disruptions in the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf, through which flows about one-fifth of the world's oil supplies.

"Our insurers in the region have been in contact with the Head of Marine Affairs at the Port of Bandar Abbas, who has reported that the crew members of our vessel Stena Impero are in "good health" and that the tanker is at the nearby Bandar Bahonar anchorage", the company statement added.

The Philippine-based manning agency immediately informed the Filipino seafarer's next of kin, and was providing the necessary assistance, the DFA said. India has called on Iran to release the ship's 18 Indian crew members.

Tehran for weeks has vowed to retaliate for the seizure of the Grace 1 tanker by British forces.

"The Revolutionary Guards responded to Britain's hijacking of the Iranian tanker", parliament speaker Ali Larijani told a parliament session aired live on state radio.

Friday's seizure comes amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran stemming from President Donald Trump's decision previous year to pull the United States from Iran's nuclear accord with world powers and reinstate sweeping sanctions. "We will keep you posted on further developments".

"The export of oil is one of the issues in which we have limitations and the USA and its allies have caused restrictions for us and we have to be sensitive", Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said, state media reported on Sunday.

He said the country's oil exports had not been impacted so far by the recent tanker incidents in the Gulf.

Gov't working on release of Filipino seafarer after Iran seized tanker