Strait of Hormuz crisis: Latest updates
This is a developing news story and live updates will be posted here by the Lloyd's List team throughout the day:
UK government advises shipping to avoid the Strait of Hormuz
EMERGENCY government meetings Friday ended with a direct warning that UK shipping should avoid the Strait of Hormuz.
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.”
“This really is the backbone of globalisation.” As tensions soar in the #StraitofHormuz, @BeckyCNN takes a look at the complex world of maritime shipping with @Lloydslisted. #StenaImpero #Grace1 pic.twitter.com/fRn2SJ75cu— Connect the World (@CNNConnect) 21 July 2019
Stena insists tanker was ‘in full compliance of regulations’
STENA Bulk, the operator of the seized UK-flagged product tanker Stena Impero has stated that the tanker was in full compliance with all navigation and international regulations, refuting Iranian media reports that justified the detention of grounds of its AIS being switched off.
Iran’s state news agency IRNA quoted a military source as saying the vessel had turned off its tracker, ignored warnings from the Revolutionary Guards and was sailing in the wrong direction in a shipping lane.
“There are 23 seafarers on board of Indian, Russian, Latvian and Filipino nationality,” said Stena Bulk chief executive Erik Hanell. “There have been no reported injuries and the safety and welfare of our crew remains our primary focus.”
The ship “is no longer under the control of the crew and remains uncontactable”, he added.
“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.”
Iran reports add context but little detail to the incidents
NO OFFICIAL Iranian response has yet been issued regarding the seizure of two oil tankers in the Gulf on Friday, however Iranian news reports have started citing various accounts.
One report denied that the IRGC had seized the Liberia-flagged tanker Mesdar, saying that it only warned the vessel to respect environmental regulations.
According to translated reports from Iran’s state-run rolling news channel IRINN, the 315,802 dwt Mesdar was told to uphold environmental rules. It did not say what prompted the Iranians to intercept the ship or whether the vessel was inspected.
Reports of Mesdar’s alleged seizure came soon after Iran announced it had impounded the British tanker Stena Impero for “violating international maritime rules”, including turning off its tracker, entering the Strait of Hormuz via the exit lane, and not heeding warnings.
Meanwhile, an Iranian military source said Stena Impero “had turned off its tracker and ignored several warnings by the Guards before being captured,” the official IRNA news agency reported.
State television said Stena Impero was taken to a coastal area and turned over to the authorities to take the necessary legal steps, the television added.
The head of Iran’s port authority was quoted by Guards-affiliated Tasnim news agency as saying: “We received reports of the British oil tanker, Stena Impero, causing problems, and therefore asked the military to guide the tanker towards Bandar Abbas harbour.”