/Warship Escorting BPs Oil Tanker Is U.K.s Only One in Area

Warship Escorting BPs Oil Tanker Is U.K.s Only One in Area

Photographer: Alex Knott/FRPU Royal Navy

The HMS Montrose, the naval vessel that protected a BP Plc oil tanker as it passed through the Strait of Hormuz, is the U.K.’s only warship in the area, according to Britain’s Ministry of Defence. It has several other naval vessels in the Gulf, it said.

The U.K. government said the Montrose had to warn three Iranian vessels to stay away from the tanker, the British Heritage. The oil carrier
didn’t load a planned cargo
of Iraqi crude and instead
left the region empty
, according to a person familiar with the matter. BP was concerned it could be a target for Iran after British Royal Marines
helped to seize
a tanker transporting the Persian Gulf country’s crude in the Mediterranean Sea. The master and chief officer of that ship have been arrested, Gibraltar’s government said Thursday.

Here are responses from the MoD to questions from Bloomberg:

Question: For how long has HMS Montrose been in the area?
Answer: HMS Montrose has been in the Gulf since late 2018.

Q: Was it there to escort vessels through Strait of Hormuz?
A: HMS Montrose was in the area providing a maritime security role.

Q: Was it an Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps vessels? Or some other Iranian entity?
A: IRGC vessels.

Q: Where did the confrontation happen? (nearest city on the Iranian side/landfall?)
A: The incident involving HMS Montrose took place in international waters.

(Updates with information about arrest of tanker officials in 2nd paragraph.)

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