British Royal Navy forced to confront Iranian ships in Strait of Hormuz

Iran’s incessant lashing out at the world around them is turning far more dangerous this week, as the nuisance nation finds itself confronting the British Royal Navy.

The confrontation took place in the Strait of Hormuz, one of the most strategically important waterways in the world, at least in terms of the international oil business.  The strait is also one of the world’s most hotly contested waterways, thanks in no small part to Iran’s unwillingness to play nice on the world’s stage.

Their latest provocation, which was halted only by the Royal Navy, aimed to interfere with yet another global oil shipment.

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A British frigate positioned itself between three Iranian Revolutionary Guard gunboats and an oil tanker in the Persian Gulf overnight Wednesday, forcing the Iranian craft to withdraw.

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The Isle of Man registered British Heritage tanker had been transiting the Persian Gulf and entering the narrow Strait of Hormuz, one of the most strategically important, crowded, and contested waterways on earth when it was ordered into Iranian waters. A Ministry of Defence spokesman Thursday said three Iranian vessels had been attempting to intercept the British tanker to make it comply.

Then things got serious.

HMS Montrose, a British frigate of the Type 23 class positioned itself between the tanker and the intercepting craft, and forced the Iranians to withdraw. A British government statement claims the warship issued verbal warnings, but U.S. news network CNN cited military contacts “with direct knowledge of the incident” which said the frigate trained its deck guns on the Iranian craft.

The entire incident is believed to have been recorded by American aerial assets, which could provide much needed clarity as the international community takes a look at the incident.

Iran’s campaign of terror against the oil infrastructure has been ongoing for months, with several ships and pipelines feeling the wrath of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in the wake of renewed sanctions on Tehran.

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