The threat level for British ships in Iranian waters has been elevated to its highest level this week – officials have said the risk of an attack is "critical".
This decision was announced Tuesday by the British Ministry of Defense, reports the BBC.
This was a day just before a reported incident in the Strait of Hormuz, in which a group of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) boats reportedly attempted to arrest a British tanker before being scared. by a Royal Navy ship.
"The crew of HMS Montrose yesterday assured the safe passage of the British Heritage merchant ship into the Strait of Hormuz," said Secretary of Defense Penny Mordaunt in a statement. "I would like to thank the Royal Navy for its professionalism, which has respected international law and supported the freedom of navigation through a sea lane essential to world trade."
Mordaunt called on Iran as a result of the incident and said: "The British government is concerned about this action and we urge the Iranian authorities to defuse the situation."
The increase in the threat level ultimately means that British tankers are now being asked to stay out of Iranian waters, according to the BBC.
Wednesday's incident in the Strait of Hormuz took place nearly a week after the British Royal Marines embarked and seized an Iranian oil tanker off Gibraltar, convinced of violating EU sanctions by shipping oil in Syria.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday issued a stern warning to the UK, saying the country would face "consequences" for seizing his ship. A flawless stay
The IRGC officials denied any involvement in the last clash.
The back and forth comes as tensions between the United States and Iran intensify, with President Trump even going so far as to order a military strike against the Middle East nation on last month that he arrested after ending the unmanned American surveillance. drone.
"They shot down an unmanned drone flying in international waters," Trump said on Twitter. "We were armed and charged to fight back last night on 3 different sites (sic) when I asked how many people would die … 150 people, sir, was the answer of a general. 10 minutes before the strike, I stopped it, which was not proportional to the felling of an unmanned drone.
Trump went on to say that he was "in no hurry" to start a war with the Iranians.
"Our army is rebuilt, new and ready to go," he said. "By far the best in the world."
Washington has beefed up its military presence in the Persian Gulf in recent months by sending the USSR Abraham Lincoln air strike group, jet fighters, B-52 bombers and Patriot missile batteries to Qatar.
Iran is under fire for exceeding the limits set for the 2015 enriched uranium nuclear agreement and is asking the European powers to impose sanctions. Trump chose to withdraw from the agreement last year and instead reimposed economic penalties against Tehran. The remaining countries are Britain, France, Germany, the European Union, Russia and China.
With postal wires