British Oil Tanker Makes U-Turn, Shelters in Saudi Arabia: Report
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An oil tanker run by the British energy giant, BP Plc, is being kept inside the Persian Gulf in fear it could be seized by Iran after the UK government captured an Iranian oil tanker in international waters, a report said.
The British Heritage, able to haul about 1 million barrels of oil, was sailing toward Iraq’s Basrah terminal in the south of country when it made an abrupt U-turn on July 6, Bloomberg reported.
It is now off Saudi Arabia’s coast and a person with knowledge of the matter says BP’s concern is that it could become a target after British Royal Marines seized Iran’s Grace 1 on July 4.
The report added that British Heritage won’t be able to exit the Strait of Hormuz, the chokepoint through which about a third of global seaborne oil moves, without sailing close to Iran’s coast, thereby placing it at greater risk.
Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri on Tuesday denounced the UK for seizing the Iranian oil tanker on bogus charges.
The British navy has captured the supertanker in retaliation for the “direct, transparent and courageous” move by the Iranian Armed Forces to shoot down an intruding US spy drone in the Iranian airspace in June, he added.
“This measure (seizure of the oil tanker) will not go unanswered, and if necessary, the response to such a shameful move will be put on the agenda, at an appropriate time and place,” the general underlined.