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An audio recording of what’s reported to be the conversation between a British naval ship and an Iranian naval officer ahead of the seizure of a UK-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz was released by maritime security company Dryad Global on Sunday.
The British-flagged Stena Impero was intercepted shortly after the Friday exchange, in which an Iranian naval officer apparently tells his UK naval counterpart: “If you obey you will be safe. Alter your course to 360 degrees immediately.”
What’s reported to be the British warship HMS Montrose responds by informing the officer that Iran’s attempt to intercept the ship would breach international law. The UK naval vessel was apparently patrolling the nearby area at the time.
The Iranian officer proceeds to say that “no challenge is intended” but reiterates the demand for the oil tanker to change course, citing “security” as a reason for the demand.
UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt dubbed the seizure “unacceptable” on Saturday and threatened that Iran would face “serious consequences” if the vessel was not released.
UK marines helped seize a tanker near Gibraltar on July 4, which was suspected of being on its way to sell oil to Syria from Iran in alleged breach of international sanctions, to which Tehran announced it would respond in kind.
MANDATORY CREDIT: DRYAD GLOBAL
Video ID: 20190721-033
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