Iran orders ‘foreign powers’ to leave the Strait of Hormuz, and says the West is playing a ‘dangerous game’ over Gibraltar tanker seizure


FILE PHOTO - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (not pictured) and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif attend a news conference in Moscow, Russia May 8, 2019. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

Many of the latest escalations between Iran and the West have been taking place in the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow waterway that sees $1.2 billion worth of the world’s oil flow through it every day.
On Wednesday, three Iranian gunboats harassed a British oil tanker in the strait, the UK said.
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman warned on Friday: “Foreign powers should leave the region.”
Iran has threatened to disrupt maritime traffic in the strait multiple times in the past, as doing so could decrease the world’s oil supply and send prices shooting up.
The spokesman also lashed out at Britain was playing a “dangerous game” by seizing an Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar last week.
Nuclear-deal tensions between Iran and the West also remain unresolved.
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Iran has told “foreign powers” to leave its surrounding regions and warned that the rapidly-escalating tensions between Tehran and the West are “a dangerous game.”

“Foreign powers should leave the region because Iran and other regional countries are capable of securing the regional security,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told the state-run IRNA news agency on Friday, according to Reuters.

It is not clear what “the region” entails specifically, or who the “other regional countries” are.

Tensions in the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow waterway to Iran’s south, have dramatically escalated in recent weeks.

Some 21 million barrels of oil exports flow through the strait every day, according to the US Energy Information Administration. That’s about one-third of the world’s sea-traded oil, or $1.197 billion worth of oil a day, at current oil prices.

The passage has both internationally- and Iranian-controlled waters.

Iran has threatened to disrupt maritime traffic in the strait multiple times in the past, as doing so could decrease the world’s oil supply and send prices shooting up.

Read more: How the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow stretch of water where ships transport $1.2 billion worth of oil every day, is at the heart of spiraling tensions with Iran

‘This is a dangerous game’

Three gunboats operated by Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) attempted to steer a British oil tanker out of international waters and Iran-controlled waters on Wednesday afternoon, the UK government said.

But a Royal Navy frigate — HMS Montrose — placed itself between the tanker and the Iranian boats, aimed its weapons, and gave “verbal warnings” for it to leave, the UK said. The Iranian vessels then retreated.

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Source:: Business Insider

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