Gulf incidents rattle shipping industry
July 20, 2019 - Iranian authorities seized a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, signalling an escalation in the strategic waterway that has become a flashpoint in tensions between Tehran and the West.
Sweden’s Stena Bulk, the owner of the Stena Impero, said the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp -- classed as a terror group by the U.S. -- used small craft and a helicopter.
Erik Hanell, president and chief executive of Stena Bulk, said: “There are 23 seafarers onboard of Indian, Russian, Latvian and Filipino nationality.”
Recent seizures and attacks aimed at oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz will raise insurance rates for shipping companies and, if unchecked, could reduce tanker traffic in the strategic waterway.
U.S. Central Command says the U.S. has intensified air patrols over the Strait of Hormuz in response to the seizure.
Tensions between Britain and Iran flared up earlier this month when Royal Marines seized an Iranian tanker off Gibraltar. London said the vessel was breaking EU sanctions.