July 11, 2019 / 10:37 AM / 5 days ago

UK concerned by Iran actions, calls for de-escalation: PM May's spokesman

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is concerned about action by Iranian vessels to stop a commercial oil tanker, Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman said on Thursday, calling for a de-escalation of tensions.

Earlier on Thursday, the British government said three Iranian vessels tried to block the passage of a BP-operated tanker through the Strait of Hormuz but withdrew after warnings from a British warship.

“We are concerned by this action and continue to urge the Iranian authorities to de-escalate the situation in the region,” the spokesman told reporters.

“We have a long-standing maritime presence in the Gulf. We are continuously monitoring the security situation there and are committed to maintaining freedom of navigation in accordance with international law.”

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper, writing by William James, Editing by Kylie MacLellan

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