A British-flagged tanker was seized in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday, according to statements from the ship’s owner and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

The tanker — Stena Impero — was “approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the Strait of Hormuz”.

The company that owns it, Stena Bulk, and the one that manages it, Northern Marine Management, said they were “unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north towards Iran”.

The ship has 23 people aboard.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) said in a statement they had seized the ship due to “violating international regulations”.

“After it was seized it was transferred to Iranian shores to undergo legal procedure,” the IRGC said.

Relations between Iran and the West have been increasingly strained after Britain seized an Iranian tanker in Gibraltar on suspicion of smuggling oil to Syria in breach of European Union sanctions.

“We are urgently seeking further information and assessing the situation following reports of an incident in the Gulf,” a spokesman for Britain’s Ministry of Defence said on Friday.


Readers' Choice