IRGC rejects claims it tried to seize British tanker

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) has rejected reports that its patrol boats in the Persian Gulf attempted to stop a British oil tanker in response to London’s seizure of an Iranian tanker.

The Public Relations Department of the IRGC Navy’s Fifth Naval Zone said in a statement on Thursday morning that there had been “no encounters” between the Iranian naval forces and foreign vessels

“In the past 24 hours, there has been no encounter with foreign ships, including British ones,” the force added.

The IRGC asserted that they were prepared to “act swiftly and decisively” should they receive an order to capture any foreign ship.

The statement came after London claimed three Iranian patrol boats had attempted to stop UK-flagged oil tanker, “British Heritage” as it was sailing through the Strait of Hormuz.

London claimed that the Iranian vessels were forced to back away after receiving a warning from the Royal Navy frigate HMS Monrose, which was escorting another tanker in the area.

Last week, the UK Royal Marines and Gibraltar’s police seized a Panama-flagged and Singapore-owned supertanker near the Strait of Gibraltar, claiming it breached European Union sanctions by carrying Iranian oil to Syria.

Tehran has denied that the tanker was traveling to Syria.

Iranian officials have blasted the seizure of the tanker as “piracy.”