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A crisis meeting in Britain to discuss the issue of the tanker detained in Iran


British Prime Minister Teresa Mae's office said on Monday that it would chair a cabinet meeting on Monday over the oil tanker Stina Empero, which has been held by Iran since Friday.

On the other hand, the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany agreed in a telephone conversation to work together to ensure security of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz, and reduce the escalation. They also condemned the detention of the British carrier Iran.

During the meeting, Mai is expected to receive the latest developments concerning the oil tanker held by Iran from its cabinet ministers. It will also discuss ways of maintaining maritime security in the region, and media reports indicate that British ministers have proposed freezing the assets of symbols of the Iranian regime.

In an interview with Al Jazeera in a previous publication, British government spokeswoman Alison King said her country was in contact with the United States and Iran but was not receiving orders from anyone. Iran also called for the release of the British oil tanker.

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Ensure navigation
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Laudrine and German Haikou Mas, said in a joint statement on Sunday that "working together to ensure maritime security in the Straits of Hormuz."

On Friday evening, Britain announced Iran's detention of its oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz "for not taking into account international maritime laws." The arrests came hours after a court in Gibraltar announced the extension of the detention of an Iranian oil tanker for 30 days, two weeks after it was seized in an operation involving the British Royal Navy on suspicion that it was heading to Syria to deliver a load of oil, which Britain considered a violation of US and European sanctions on Syrian regime.

For weeks, the region has been witnessing a growing tension between the United States and Gulf states and Iran over the latter's abandonment of some of its commitments to the nuclear program - concluded in 2015 - after Washington withdrew from it.

Tension has worsened since last May, especially with a series of attacks on oil tankers in the region, which Washington accused Tehran of being behind. Last June, US President Donald Trump canceled air strikes against Iran at the last minute after the Iranian Revolutionary Guards dropped an American marching aircraft.

Meanwhile, Iranian authorities said they had begun investigating the crew, and that the speed of the investigation depended on the crew's cooperation and access to the necessary evidence to look into the case.

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Calls for restraint
Yesterday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Jawad Zarif called on all sides to avoid what he described as a disaster that could not be ignored. "Trump is not seeking a war with Iran, but the circle around him is trying to reverse that," Zarif said in an interview with CNN. He also pledged that his country would continue to sell oil, warning that the global energy market would not withstand without Iranian oil.

For its part, Oman said it was following with great interest the traffic in the Strait of Hormuz, calling on all sides to exercise restraint and avoid exposing the region to risks affecting the freedom of navigation.

In the same context, an official source in the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry said that his country is following with great concern the acceleration of the escalation in the region and stresses that the continuation of such acts will increase the escalation and tension and endanger the security and safety of navigation to a direct threat and calls on the international community to intensify its efforts and diplomatic efforts to contain this escalation and tension. .

Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir on Sunday called on the international community to "deter Iran's actions that affect the freedom of maritime navigation." "Iran must realize that its actions and violations of international law, which include intercepting civilian ships, including the capture of the British ship in the Persian Gulf, are totally unacceptable," he said in a tweet on his Twitter account.

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Audio recording
On Sunday, Western media reported an audio recording that said it documented critical moments before the Iranian Revolutionary Guards captured the British oil tanker last Friday and a British warship intervened to try to prevent her being held.

"If you comply, you will be safe," said one member of the Iranian forces, who called on the British flag carrier to change course.

"Please confirm that you do not intend to violate international law by trying to board the vessel illegally," a British naval officer aboard the British frigate Montrose told the Iranian forces. The British frigate also confirmed to the British crew the right to cross the strait.

The Iranians, who are members of a special naval unit of the Revolutionary Guards, say that "there is no intent to challenge, no intention to challenge. We want to inspect the ship for security reasons," according to the record from the global maritime security company Dryad.

Source: aljazeera

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