July 22, 2019 / 4:16 PM / a month ago

Britain to seek European maritime mission to counter Iran's 'piracy'

LONDON, July 22 (Reuters) - Britain will seek to put together a European-led maritime protection mission to ensure safe shipping through the Strait of Hormuz after Iran seized a British-flagged vessel in what London said was an act of “state piracy”.

“Under international law Iran had no right to obstruct the ship’s passage - let alone board her. It was therefore an act of state piracy,” Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told parliament.

“We will now seek to put together a European-led maritime protection mission to support safe passage of both crew and cargo in this vital region,” Hunt said. He said he would discuss how this would complement U.S. proposals in the area.

After the seizure of the Stena Impero on Friday, Britain will now ask all British-flagged ships to give the government notice of intentions to pass through the Strait of Hormuz, Hunt said. (Reporting by Kylie MacLellan and Guy Faulconbridge, Editing by Alistair Smout)

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