LONDON, July 11 (Reuters) - Britain does not intend to escort every British-flagged merchant vessel through the Strait of Hormuz, a security source said on Thursday, after a Royal Navy warship 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 Gulf but we have absolutely no interest in escalating the situation with Iran” the source added.
Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; writing by Kate Holton; editing by Stephen Addison