The British authorities have accused the Iranian Navy, which seized a British-flagged oil tanker on Friday saying it had violated “international maritime rules,” of “illegally” interfering with the vessel’s passage. In a letter to the UN Security Council, cited by Reuters, the UK mission to the UN claimed that the tanker was sailing in Omani territorial waters at the time of its seizure by Iranian forces.
“The ship was exercising the lawful right of transit passage in an international strait as provided for under international law,” the mission said. In the account of the incident provided by Iran, the ship was seized for failure to abide by international maritime rules after an “accident” with an Iranian fishing boat. The Swedish-owned, UK-registered tanker was accused of ignoring a “distress signal” from the boat.