Jeremy Hunt "extremely concerned" after Iran seizes two British-owned oil tankers. One of the ships, which was Liberian-flagged, was allowed to continue its voyage. Iran's state TV claims the vessel it is holding had turned its tracker off.UK Foreign Office has said it is urgently seeking further information Following an emergency Cobra meeting this evening, a government spokeswoman said: “We remain deeply concerned about Iran's unacceptable actions which represent a clear challenge to international freedom of
navigation. "We have advised UK shipping to stay out of the area for an interim period. “As the foreign secretary has said, our response will be considered and robust and there will be serious consequences if the situation is not resolved. “We remain in close contact with our international partners and there will be further meetings over the weekend."
01:09 US to send troops and resources to Saudi Arabia The United States is sending forces including fighter aircraft, air defence missiles and likely more than 500 troops to a Saudi Arabia airbase. Following heightened tensions in Iran, the acting US defence secretary authorised the deployment of additional resources, the Pentagon said. It said the move would provide an "additional deterrent" in the face of "emergent, credible threats". Saudi's King Salman approved hosting the US forces to boost regional stability, according to the state news agency.
00:39 Jeremy Corbyn attacks Trump Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has responded to the latest developments in Iran, saying the seizure is "unacceptable" and calling for the tanker to be released. "Escalation risks a slide into an even deeper conflict," he said. Mr Corbyn also criticised the US president, saying: "President Trump's decision to tear up the Iran nuclear deal fuelled the risk of full-scale conflict. "A negotiated reinstatement of the nuclear deal through the UN is essential to wind down tensions and defuse the threat of war in the Gulf."
00:12 British-flagged tanker still not in contact The operator of Stena Impero, the British-flagged tanker which was seized by Iranian authorities, says the vessel has still not been in contact and is no longer under the control of the crew. Stena Bulk and Northern Marine Management said the ship had been compliant with all navigation and international regulations. The tanker suddenly deviated from its passage to Jubail and headed north towards Iran after being approached by a small naval craft and a helicopter, the operator said. Erik Hanell, president and chief executive of Stena Bulk, said: “There are 23 seafarers onboard of Indian, Russian, Latvian and Filipino nationality. "There have been no reported injuries and the safety and welfare of our crew remains our primary focus. "We are in close contact with both the UK and Swedish government authorities to resolve this situation and we are liaising closely with our seafarers’ families.”
23:24 'Theresa May not involved in Cobra meeting'
23:15 US aircraft are monitoring the situation in the Strait of Hormuz Unarmed surveillance aircraft are in international airspace and have been in contact with US ships in the area, according to the American military.
22:49 Jeremy Hunt has said Iran's foreign minister is currently on a plane so he has been unable to speak to him. He added that the UK is seeking a diplomatic way to resolve the issue. Mr Hunt said: "This is completely unacceptable, freedom of navigation must be maintained, we are having an emergency meeting of the government's COBRA committee in a few minutes time. "We will respond in a way that is considered but robust, and we are absolutely clear that if this situation is not resolved quickly there will be serious consequences." Mr Hunt continued: "We're not looking at military options, we are looking at a diplomatic way to resolve the situation. "But we are very clear that it must be resolved."
22:12 'UK could be tied into a war with Iran' Lord West, a retired admiral of the Royal Navy, has accused Iran of escalating tensions in the Gulf.He said that Iranian Revolutionary Guard ships should be sunk if they attacked British vessels. Lord West told Sky News: "They are the ones who escalated by attacking one of our merchant ships, so if they attack one of our merchant ships then they get their comeuppance." He added that he supported "de-escalation" in the region and called for new talks between the UK, Iran and the US over the nuclear deal that US President Donald Trump had pulled out from. Lord West added: "But for the Iranians to use that ... to come and attack our ships, I think, is not appropriate and we've got to look after our ships, but we mustn't let them just steam around unprotected in what are very dangerous waters." The retired admiral said Tory leadership hopefuls Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt were "deluding themselves" if they were not to back the US in a war against Iran. He continued: "It would be a disaster, we do not want a war, but we will be tied into it."
22:05 The owners of the Liberian-flagged vessel have said the crew are "safe and well" and were allowed to continue their voyage after the ship was boarded by armed guards. 21:53 A video shows the paths of the British-operated tankers that Jeremy Hunt says were seized in the Strait of Hormuz.
21:39 Iran's Revolutionary Guard claimed the Stena Impero tanker it seized was breaking international rules. But the owners of the vessel said it was approached by unidentified small boats in international waters.
Bookmark This Page To get The Latest Updates On This Story here