Iran: Expert says ‘tensions are very high right now’
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But after boarding the 440ft Asphalt Princess the military personnel were thwarted by crew who had anticipated their hijack. A source who was privy to official intelligence briefings on the incident said: “Armed Iranians stormed the vessel and tried to take it back to Iran but the crew scuppered the engines, so that is why it was shown bobbing in the water.
“Then US and Omani warships turned up and the Iranians got into some boats and went off.”
The source also added the crew remained safe and no one was badly injured.
A “squad” of heavily armed Iranians boarded the Asphalt Princess near the Strait of Hormuz but fleed when US and Omani warships approached the boat.
The Panama-flagged tanker sailed from Bandar Abbas, an Iranian Port and was destined for Sohar, Oman when it was intercepted 86 miles from Fujairah, in the UAE.
The hijack has triggered poorer relations between the West and the Middle East, especially as another hijack that killed a Briton and a Romanian happened only last week.
Iran denies any involvement in either hijack.
Iran’s new president, Ebrahim Raisi, is to be inaugurated today and has many extreme ideas for Iran’s leadership.
He is backed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards who were blamed for the deathly drone strike on the MT Mercer Street ship which killed British Army Veteran, Adrian Underwood.
Dominic Raab, the UK Foreign Secretary Tweeted: “The council must respond to Iran’s destabilising actions and lack of respect for international law.”
Just as allies and the USA joined in backing a response to Iran’s aggression.
Ebrahim Raisi, 60, said he seeks to end the “tyranny” of US sanctions against Iran and vowed his country would not bend to the “will of foreigners.”
Britain has said it was “highly likely” that Iran was responsible for the hijack and drone strikes so was discussing a “concerted response” with fellow allies.
08:35 UK Foreign Secretary asks new Iranian President to shed his "pariah status"
Dominic Raab has called on Iran’s new President to shed his “pariah status” and work with the West.
Ebrahim Raisi has become known as ‘The Butcher of Tehran’ and is an Iranian conservative Islamist and principlist politician.
The British Foreign Secretary added: “Under this new president, there is an opportunity to take steps to build up some confidence and goodwill with the rest of the international community, or take steps further and further into pariah status.”
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