European powers urge Iran to release British-flagged oil tanker


European powers — Germany and France — today called on Iran to immediately release a British oil tanker it seized yesterday in the Strait of Hormuz.

A statement by the German Foreign Ministry said the seizure was a dangerous further aggravation of an already tense situation.

The Foreign Ministry of France, in a statement, said Iran’s action hampers a necessary de-escalation of tensions in the Gulf region.

It called on Iranian authorities to quickly release the ship and its crew and to respect freedom of navigation principles in the Gulf.

US President Donald Trump said he would hold talks with Britain about the tanker’s seizure by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. He was talking to reporters at the White House.

The UK government said it was deeply concerned about what it called Iran’s unacceptable actions.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt freedom of navigation must be maintained and warned of serious consequences if the situation is not resolved quickly.

The capture of the Swedish-owned, British-flagged Stena Impero yesterday by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was a dangerous further aggravation of an already tense situation.

Iran said the vessel was violating international maritime rules.

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