epa07731990 An Iranian Revolutionary Guard jet boat sails around the seized British-flagged tanker Stena Impero in Bandar Abbas, southern Iran, 21 July 2019. Media reported that Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) claims to have seized Stena Impero at the Strait of Hormuz with 23 crew on board. Stena Bulk has issued a statement that ‘UK registered vessel Stena Impero was approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the Strait of Hormuz while the vessel was in international waters. On 20 July Stena Bulk informed that Head of Marine Affairs at the Port of Bandar Abbas is in contact with the crew members, who are in ‘good health’ and that Head of Marine Affairs has confirmed to them that no instructions have been received so far as to what will happen to the ship.’ EPA-EFE/HASAN SHIRVANI

 The escalation of the situation in the Strait of Hormuz may threaten security of navigation in the region, KUNA news agency quoted Kuwait’s Foreign Ministry as saying.

“Kuwait is following with concern the developments in the region after the detention of the British oil tanker and stresses that such actions may lead to escalation of tensions and create a direct threat to navigation,” a source in the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry said.

The source also called on the international community to step up diplomatic efforts to prevent further escalation and guarantee that all sides are observing international maritime law and exercise restraint.

Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency said on Friday that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), an elite military force of the Islamic Republic, seized the UK-flagged tanker Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz for “the violations of international maritime regulations.” According to the IRGC, the tanker was escorted towards the shore for further investigation.

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