The Iranians, continuing on their path of tension escalation, have appear to have seized two British ships in the Strait of Hormuz.
The Stena Impero, which has a crew of 23 on board, 'was approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the Strait of Hormuz while the vessel was in international waters,' Stena Bulk, the shipping company that owns the vessel, said in a statement. 'We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north towards Iran.'
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard claimed the boat was in "non-compliance with international maritime laws and regulations."
The seizure comes after Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani, threatened Britain when the U.K. seized an Iranian supertanker accused of “operating in violation of European Union sanctions.”
“You are an initiator of insecurity,” Rouhani said, “and you will understand its repercussions."
A second boat, the Mesdar, also seems to have been seized by the Iranian government.
After Iran’s Revolutionary Guards claimed they seized a British oil tanker, the Stena Impero, a U.S. official confirmed that a second ship, the Liberian-flagged MV Mesdar, was also seized in the Strait of Hormuz within two hours.
Despite being flagged out of Liberia, the oil tanker is owned by Norbulk Shipping, which is based out of the U.K.
As of now, it is unclear what the global response will be to yet another potential act of aggression by the Middle Eastern power, but one thing is certain: No one in the West is happy about this new development.