Envoy: UK not to increase its forces in region

IRNA – UK Ambassador to Tehran Robert Macaire stressed that in contrast to what some media claim, the UK will not increase the level of its forces in the region.

Macaire retweeted a message sent by UK Defense Ministry, saying the article shows that the ships moving towards the Persian Gulf are being replaced with other vessels based on a rotatory pattern.

In the wake of the news on dispatching UK second warship to the Persian Gulf, the UK Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Jeremy Hunt said the UK is not seeking to escalate tensions with Iran.

He added: “We take maritime security very seriously indeed these are primary responsibilities to protect British shipping.”

“I am being briefed whole time as to what is happening,” he reiterated.

Sky News earlier announced that HMS Duncan, a Type 45 Destroyer, will sail to the Persian Gulf in the coming days after completing NATO exercises in the Black Sea.

It stressed that the HMS Duncan will not be part of an international maritime coalition proposed by Washington.

Hunt claimed: “The recent that the Grace 1 was seized was because of the destination it was going to Syria that was a clear breach of sanctions, but it wasn’t because it was coming from Iran, adding that the UK is after finding a way to resolve the issue.”

Earlier, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said London’s claims about the seizure of Iran’s oil tanker are legally irrelevant and urged Britain to free the tanker as soon as possible.

Mousavi rejected Britain’s claim on the destination of oil tanker Grace 1, saying that “the tanker cannot harbor in Syrian ports because it is a supertanker”.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif described the UK act to seize Iranian oil tanker in Strait of Gibraltar as piracy, saying it is crystal clear that it has been accomplished upon US’ request.

He added that the UK’s vindication in this regard is childish and ridiculous.

The UK should officially announce that it has carried out the US demand, Zarif noted.