Britain does not intend to escort every British-flagged merchant vessel through the Strait of Hormuz, a security source said on Thursday, according to a report.
According to Reuters, the statement came after a Royal Navy warship claimed on Thursday it had to stop three Iranian vessels from blocking the passage of a BP-operated tanker.
The source added that Britain had raised its ship security level to 3, the highest category, for British-flagged ships in Iranian waters early on Tuesday.
“Level 3 for shipping would be comparable to ‘critical’ and that is where there is a much-heightened risk ..,” the British source said. “We went to level 3 for Iranian waters at the start of this week.
“We will be resolute in defending UK maritime interests in the Persian Gulf but we have absolutely no interest in escalating the situation with Iran,” the source added.
Meanwhile, Iranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected the British authorities’ claim on an attempt by the IRGC gunboats to impede one of their oil tankers, saying that their claim is aimed at creating tensions.
Zarif also said the British government’s claim is ‘worthless’, adding that such claims are nothing new.
The top diplomat pointed to the IRGC statement which dismisses the claim, adding that "they are seeking to cover up their weaknesses with such claims."