Oil tanker hijack LIVE: Boris sends in special forces after Iran attack off UAE coast

Iran ‘must pay the price’ for attack says Gardiner

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The British special forces team have been deployed to the region, as the UK and allies devise a cyber strike retaliation. The Asphalt Princess tanker has been seized by Iranian forces according to three maritime forces, however Iran denies this.

Boris called in the UK Forces to handle Iran

Boris called in the UK Forces to handle Iran (Image: GETTY)

Iran VS Israel

Iran VS Israel (Image: Express)

The tanker is currently safe as it was seized off the coast of the UAE by British forces.

A US military ship is also expected to be sent to monitor the situation.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said the potential hijack incident is “complete”in a warning notice but did not name the vessel involved.

Refinitiv ship tracking data and AIS tracking showed that the Asphalt Princess was “Underway Using Engine” on Wednesday morning.

READ MORE: World holds breath as US ship ‘hijacked’ off coast of UAE – Iran tensions sky-rocket

Iran's military power

Iran’s military power (Image: Express)

The Prime Minister called in the UK Forces to Oman

The Prime Minister called in the UK Forces to Oman (Image: Express)

The tanker was in the Arabian Sea leading to the Strait of Hormuz, which is also the channel for a fifth of the world’s sea-borne oil exports.

Since an attack last week on an Israeli tanker that killed two crew members was blamed on Iran by the US, Israel and Britain, tensions remain at the surface.

However, Iran denies responsibility for the deaths.

On Tuesday Iran’s senior armed forces spokesman, Abolfazl Shekarchi, denied the many incidents at sea and hijacking in the Gulf area as “a kind of psychological warfare and setting the stage for new bouts of adventurism”.

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The tanker is with British military now

The tanker is with British military now (Image: GETTY)

The coast of Oman remains a contested and busy area of ocean occupation.

As tensions rise, hijacking may too, causing British and American forces to remain on guard.

10:31 Nine armed men were aboard the Asphalt Princess

The Asphalt Princess was hijacked by nine “heavily armed” gunmen who travelled 60 miles (111 km) toward Iran, east of the Emirati port of Fujairah when it originally stopped, then abandoned ship. 

The tanker is owned by the Emirati free zone-based Glory International.

10:22 Boris Johnson condemns Iran’s actions

Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister has said: “Iran should face up to the consequences of what they’ve done.”

He explained it was “clearly an unacceptable and outrageous attack on commercial shipping.”

Boris has had his say

Boris has had his say (Image: GETTY)

10:13 Iran denies any involvement in the tanker

British sources told The Times newspaper that they were: “working on the assumption Iranian military or proxies boarded the vessel.”

Britain’s foreign ministry was “urgently investigating” an incident on a vessel off the UAE coast, a spokesperson said. 

The White House called the reports ‘deeply concerning’.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards denied that Iranian forces or allies were involved in action against any ship off the UAE coast, saying the incident was a pretext for ‘hostile action’ against Tehran, state television reported on its website. 

Saeed Khatibzadeh, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman denied his country was involved and ‘warned of any effort to create a false atmosphere for special political purposes.

He said: “Iran’s naval forces are ready for help and rescue in the region.”

Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency quoted Saeed calling the recent attacks in the region “completely suspicious.”

He denied that Iran was involved.

09:52 General Carter and Ben Wallace talk defence strategies

General Sir Nicholas Carter, head of the UK Armed Forces and Ben Wallace, Secretary of State for the Defence of the UK are in talks over strategy.

(Image: )

08:58 UK’s military chief, says Iran made a “big mistake”

On Radio 4 today, General Sir Nick Carter, the UK’s military chief, says Iran made a “big mistake” by attacking an Israeli-linked tanker off Oman, killing a UK national & a Romanian, & warned “ultimately we have got to restore deterrence”.

The UK Chief of the Defence Staff said: “What we need to be doing fundamentally is calling out Iran for very reckless behaviour.

“They made a big mistake on the attack they did against the Mercer Street vessel last week because that has very much internationalised the state of play in the Gulf.”

We will work out with our allies what is the best way of providing protection [to international shipping in the Gulf] and convoys may not necessarily be the right method. We have used other methods and we will think and keep reviewing our way of keeping this happening. 

“But ultimately we’ve got to restore deterrence because it’s behaviour like that [Iran’s alleged tanker attack] which leads to escalation & that could v easily lead to miscalculation & that would be v disastrous for all the people’s of the Gulf & the international community.”

Harry Byrne

Harry Byrne

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