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Iran says it is ready for any scenario, warns of escalating UK tension

File photo of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Photograph:( Reuters )

Agencies New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 21, 2019, 02.06 PM (IST)

Iran's envoy to Britain on Sunday urged the UK to contain "domestic political forces" which he said wanted to escalate tension between the two countries amid the capture of a British-flagged tanker in the Gulf by Iran.

"UK government should contain those domestic political forces who want to escalate existing tension between Iran and the UK well beyond the issue of ships. This is quite dangerous and unwise at a sensitive time in the region," Hamid Baeidinejad tweeted.

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"Iran, however, is firm and ready for different scenarios."

Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Friday they had confiscated a British tanker in the Strait of Hormuz for breaking "international maritime rules" as tensions mount in the highly sensitive waterway.

Britain, however, said Iran had seized two ships in the Gulf, incidents Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt condemned as "unacceptable".

The latest incident came as US President Donald Trump insisted on Friday that the military had downed an Iranian drone that was threatening a US naval vessel in the  Strait of Hormuz, despite denials from Tehran.

On Saturday, Revolutionary Guards posted a video online showing speedboats pulling up alongside the Stena Impero tanker, its name clearly visible.

Troops wearing ski masks and carrying machine guns rappelled to its deck from a helicopter, the same tactics used by British Royal Marines to seize an Iranian tanker off the coast of Gibraltar two weeks ago.

Friday's action in the global oil trade's most important waterway has been viewed in the West as a major escalation after three months of confrontation that has already taken Iran and the United States to the brink of war.

Story highlights

Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Friday they had confiscated a British tanker in the Strait of Hormuz for breaking 'international maritime rules' as tensions mount in the highly sensitive waterway.