new IRGC video of stena impero capture including helicopter commando assault

Iran shows footage of British tanker seizure, JUl 20 2019

IRGC has released a video showing the moment its operatives captured the UK-flagged tanker Stena Impero. The IRGC claims that a British frigate tried to interfere, but failed. The impressive, movie-like footage was released by the elite Iranian force on Saturday, a day after it seized the tanker. The video shows the moment of the operation, when IRGC speedboats surrounded the vessel, which was apparently steaming ahead at full speed. The naval force was backed by a military helicopter, which deployed an assault team on the tanker’s deck. The vessel was ultimately stopped and subsequently escorted to shore. Iran insists the seizure was prompted by the Stena Impero’s failure to respond to a distress call from an Iranian finishing boat. The IRGC also claimed that a British frigate tried to prevent them from seizing the Stena Impero. Its spokesman Brig-Gen Ramezan Sharif said despite the “resistance and interference” of the warship, the Iranian forces succeeded in bringing the tanker to the country’s shores. There has so far been no comment from the UK on that. The tanker itself is detained at Iran’s southern port city of Bandar Abbas. The crew of 23, consisting of 18 Indian nationals, while the rest are from Russia, Latvia, and the Philippines, remain on board the vessel. The ship’s operator, Stena Cargo, has denied any wrongdoing, while the UK advised the country’s vessels to steer clear of the Strait of Hormuz, threatening Tehran with “serious consequences.” The incident mirrors another that occurred earlier this month involving the two nations. On Jul 4, Britain along with its dependency, Gibraltar captured Panama-flagged supertanker Grace 1, accusing it of carrying crude from Iran to Syria in violation of EU sanctions. Iran reacted angrily to the incident, branding the vessel’s capture an act of “piracy.”

Here is a further allegation regarding the British presence/interference at the capture:

British Warship Tried to Stop Iran From Seizing Tanker in Hormuz Strait
Sputnik News, Jul 20 2019

Earlier, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt accused Tehran of taking a “dangerous path of illegal and destabilising behaviour” following Friday’s seizure of a UK-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz by the IRGC. A Royal Navy warship escorting the Stena Impero tanker before its Friday detention by the IRGC attempted to put up “resistance and interference” to stop the Iranian military from bringing the tanker to shore, IRGC spokesman Brig-Gen Ramezan Sharif has said, Fars News reported. Earlier, Iranian media reported that the UK-flagged tanker was detained after colliding with an Iranian fishing boat while ignoring its distress call. According to Sharif, the British tanker had turned off its positioning equipment, and received multiple warnings about its unsafe behaviour before being seized. The IRGC spokesman alleged that the Royal Navy ship intervened to try to stop Iran’s naval commandos, including by flying helicopters in the vicinity. Sharif emphasized that the IRGC’s actions during Friday’s incident were in strict accordance with international maritime laws governing behaviour in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. He said “some foreign vessels” failed to comply with these regulations, engaging in behaviour which he described as “arrogant, provocative and threatening.” Sharif indicated that the seized British tanker is now located at a port in Hormozgan province, with “legal and judicial procedures” to investigate the incident currently underway.

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