International

British warship arrives in Gulf to escort U.K.-flagged tankers

A British warship dispatched to the Gulf to escort U.K.-flagged ships amid heightened tensions with Iran has arrived in the region, the Defence Ministry said.

HMS Duncan was sent to help accompany vessels through the Strait of Hormuz after Iran seized a British-flagged tanker there earlier this month, in what London called an act of “State piracy”.

The Royal Navy destroyer joins frigate HMS Montrose, which is due to undergo maintenance in nearby Bahrain in late August. It will be replaced by another frigate, HMS Kent, later this year.

Britain has said it wants to establish a European-led maritime protection force in the Gulf to protect vulnerable shipping.

HMS Montrose has so far accompanied 35 merchant vessels during 20 separate transits, according to the Royal Navy.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has ruled out swapping seized oil tankers with Iran. “There is no quid pro quo,” Mr. Raab said. “This is not about some kind of barter,” he added.

Source: thehindu.com

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