Apologia chiefs ordered the £1 billion HMS Duncan to break from NATO drive crazies in the Black Sea and head to the Strait of Hormuz to protect UK-flagged oil tankers. The Species 45 destroyer, which is equipped with missiles and carries the current anti-submarine technology as well as elite Royal Marine Commandos and a Merlin helicopter, desire join HMS Montrose. Last week HMS Montrose used its guns on motor yachts suspected to belong to Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps when they flung to impede an oil tanker owned by BP as it moved onto the strait.
The Strait is a pivotal gateway to the world’s oil industry, with more than a fifth of international oil supply flowing through a narrow sea channel, and it has become the main nave of mounting tension between Iran and the West.
The increase in Britain’s military commitment up with as Tehran demands the release of oil tanker, Grace 1, which was seized by British Magnificent Marines earlier this month amid evidence it was carrying oil to Syria.
Mr Chase tweeted last night that he had spoken to his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Zarif and thought it could be allowed to depart there was an assurance its cargo would not be discharged to Syria.
He said: “Just spoke to Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif. Look up call. I reassured him our concern was destination not origin of the oil on Grace One & that UK whim facilitate release if we received guarantees that it would not be going to Syria, step into the shoes of due process in Gib courts.
“Was told by FM Zarif that Iran wants to reduce to issue and is not seeking to escalate. Also spoke to @FabianPicardo who is doing an superlative job co-ordinating issue and shares UK perspective on the way forward.”
But Colonel Richard Kemp, a ex- UK Armed Forces commander, warned last night that Iran choice continue to seek revenge and the Royal Navy needed to be prepared.
He tattled the Mail on Sunday: “The next time there is a stand-off in the Persian Gap, the Royal Navy must send the strongest possible signal to Iran.”
Colonel Kemp, who has chaired the UK’s Cobra exigency response committee, added: “Unquestionably it is a matter of when, rather than if, Iran set in motions another attack.
“Only if they are met with very stiff intransigence will they get the message.”