The British tanker Stena Impero’s detention in the Strait of Hormuz by Iran may serve as a pretext for the use of force, chair of the Russian Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev told on Friday.

“We hope for a level-headed approach from both sides but it will depend on what plans each side has. It is unfortunately a fact that this incident may be used as a pretext for the use of force. However, it is less clear whether the one who uses force will benefit from it. That’s why we hope for restraint and diplomacy,” Kosachev said.

“Russia can offer its good services on de-escalating,” he added.

The incident with the British tanker’s dention by Iran represents “another instance of escalation of tensions in the region and in Iran’s relations with the West,” Kosachev said. He reminded how on July 4 British military detained Iran’s Grace 1 tanker in Gibraltar, “referencing violations of international law, just like Iran is doing now,” he noted.

“It is clear that Britain will never recognize the right of other countries to treat it the same way as it treats them. However, no one feels better in this situation. In any case, it should be clear what kind of violations are claimed to be made here, and what Tehran plans to do next,” he added.

Kosachev expressed hope that the UK will not resort to the use of force right away, “at the very least because reports indicate that the tanker was detained without violations and no one was injured,” the Russian lawmaker concluded.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC, an elite unit of the Iranian armed forces) have said they detained the British oil tanker Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday. According to the IRGC, the tanker was detained over the violation of international rules and was escorted to the shore for inspections.

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