Article taken from: www.thestandard.com.hk
A sense of crisis in the world’s busiest oil shipping lane has been building up for weeks as Iran responds to US President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign. “There is no quid pro quo,” Raab said. ” “This is not about some kind of barter. This is about international law and the rules of the international legal system being upheld.
“”That is what we will insist on. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had hinted earlier that he was open to a tanker swap. Iran said on Sunday that its ship’s seizure was also a violation of the 2015 nuclear pact that Britain co-signed and is trying to keep alive with EU allies. Its remaining participants met in Vienna over the weekend for heated talks that also saw Iran lash out at Britain’s proposal for European nations to lead a naval and air Gulf escort mission.
Britain’s HMS Montrose frigate began helping UK-flagged tankers enter into and out of the Gulf last week. Its naval presence near Iran grew to two with the arrival on Sunday of the HMS Duncan destroyer – the most advanced warship Britain has. The defense ministry said the two will conduct escorts together for the next month. “Freedom of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz is vital not just to the UK, but also our international partners and allies,” Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said.
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