The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) captured the British-flagged Stena Impero tanker on Friday, allegedly for breaking international laws.

UK Junior Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood said that Britain is evaluating ways to respond to Iran’s seizure of the tanker.

“Our first and most important responsibility is to make sure that we get a solution to the issue to do with the current ship, make sure other British-flagged ships are safe to operate in these waters and then look at the wider picture,” Tobias Ellwood said.

“We are going to be looking at a series of options … We will be speaking with our colleagues, our international allies, to see what can actually be done,” he added speaking about possible sanctions.

On Friday, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) seized UK-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz over what it described as a breach of international maritime regulations. According to the authorities of the Islamic Republic, the tanker’s crew includes 18 Indians, three Russians, as well as several citizens of Latvia and the Philippines.

The IRGC reportedly claimed that the UK-flagged ship had broken maritime rules by switching off its tracking system and ignoring the lane for ships entering the Persian Gulf. 

In turn, UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said earlier that he was worried that Iran had taken a “dangerous path” after it seized a British-flagged tanker.

The latest development marks an escalation in tension between UK and Iranian officials following the recent detainment of Iranian supertanker Grace 1 off the coast of Gibraltar earlier this month.

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