July 19, 2019 / 8:08 PM / 2 months ago

Britain says seizure of two vessels by Iran is unacceptable

FILE PHOTO: Jeremy Hunt, a leadership candidate for Britain's Conservative Party, speaks during a hustings event in London, Britain July 17, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain said Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged vessel and a Liberian-flagged vessel in the Strait of Hormuz was unacceptable and called for freedom of navigation in the Gulf.

“I’m extremely concerned by the seizure of two vessels by Iranian authorities in the Strait of Hormuz,” Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said.

“I will shortly attend a COBR (national security) meeting to review what we know and what we can do to swiftly secure the release of the two vessels - a British-flagged vessel and a Liberian-flagged vessel,” he said.

“These seizures are unacceptable. It is essential that freedom of navigation is maintained and that all ships can move safely and freely in the region,” Hunt said.

Hunt said Britain’s ambassador in Tehran was in contact with the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to resolve the situation and that Britain was working closely with international partners.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton

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