The MV Mesdar, originally bound for Saudi Arabia, hahad been stopped by Iran.

The vessel, like the earlier seized Stena Impero, was observed on maritime tracking services making a sudden turn and heading towards Iran causing concern. Such was the confusion around the incident, even UK government sources for some time believed that this second vessel had been seized.

Sources in Iran now report that the MV Mesdar had only been stopped in order to be notified regarding ‘environmental & maritime regulations’ and was then allowed to continue.

More on what actually happened will likely come out in the following days.

The vessel is Liberian-flagged but British owned and is the second tanker stopped by Iran today.

The vessel followed a similar pattern to the previous vessel seized earlier today, which was reported here.

The British Government’s emergency committee, COBRA, is meeting to discuss both incidents.

More as this develops.


Background

Earlier in the month, Iranian naval craft unsuccessfully attempted to seize a British flagged oil tanker in the Persian Gulf. The tanker ‘British Heritage’ was sailing out of the Persian Gulf and was crossing into the Strait of Hormuz area when it was approached by boats from the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard.

Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose.

Royal Navy frigate HMS Montrose had been escorting the tanker and it has been reported that the British warship ‘pointed its guns at the Iranian boats’ in order to deter the seizure.

The Iranian boats then reportedly withdrew after HMS Montrose warned them to move away.

Image result for Iran
‘Grace 1′ being boarded by Royal Marines’

This chain of events started when a fuel tanker believed to be carrying crude oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions was detained in Gibraltar.

The vessel, ‘Grace 1’, was halted in the early hours of this morning by Gibraltar police and customs agencies, aided by a detachment of Royal Marines.

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Jonathan
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Jonathan

Well this as all a bit buggered. Going to head down hill from here and we don’t even have a functional executive (prime minister or cabinet) or legislative…well do HMG and opposition.

Cpt America
Guest
Cpt America

No worries mate, the Yankees will step in on behalf of the Brits. After all, we are good friends.

Johnny
Guest
Johnny

Ffs, this is why we shouldn’t have run down everything as you never know when it’s going to kick off!

Ian Smith
Guest
Ian Smith

HMG must immediately announce a Review, seek to appoint a Chair in six months time with a view to an interim report by Christmas 2024, that’ll bang the Iranians to rights.

sjb1968
Guest
sjb1968

hey come on lets not be too hasty.

Russ
Guest
Russ

…. in the fullness of time , all things being considered, with proper consideration and the evidence duly weighed by appropriate bodies to enable a thorough review of the conclusions and likely outcomes with which a basis of a plan of report and commission can be appointed… – in short a full on Sir Humphrey

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

i’d pay to watch the panic and headless chickens running around the M.O.D if her maj decided it was time she had a fleet review!!!!!!! can you imagine it?it’d be like monty python.!!!!!

Spyinthesky
Guest
Spyinthesky

There are all manner of small boats she can review, at her age it will likely bring back fond memories of Dunkirk and she will go away well pleased the old spirit is alive and well. On a serious note they clearly determined our ‘Middle East navy’ couldn’t deal with two ‘captures’ at once. They must be laughing at the incompetence of our Govt having given them a week or two warning they still couldn’t organise the required piss up in a brewery to take precautions. Worse still this past 6 months it feels like Montrose and Duncan are the… Read more »

Martin S
Guest
Martin S

Take the tanker being held in Gib out and scuttle it! The EU and the UN have not come running to support us so lets get rid of the problem. Any thoughts anybody?

Alvin
Guest
Alvin

Yes brilliant idea. Say what happen to the British owned tankers when the Iranian’s find out – or their crews for that matter? Do you expect them to be as humanitarian as we will be?

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

@ Martin S – I am not too sure about the scuttling bit but I take your point! Given the ship was taken in hand at the request of the EU (not by the USA as rumoured) as it was in breach of EU sanctions against Syria I believe it shows who our friends are here and it ain’t the EU.

Some of a more cynical mindset might say we were set up by the EU given its our tankers now being harassed in the Gulf and not a peep from Brussels. …. I of course could not possibly comment!

maurice10
Guest
maurice10

The overriding worry in Westminster tonight must be the danger of losing control of the situation, and finding itself as the piggy in the middle. One question I have, is how much UK central governance was behind the order to intercept the Iranian tanker in Gib? Currently, the UK Government is in political disarray over the Priminstership, and Brexit, to be fully in control of foreign policy. The EU needs to step up and support tankers in the Gulf with immediate effect. If there is no obvious support the UK should release the vessel forthwith.

Callum
Guest
Callum

I doubt the higher ups actually had a role in the Grace 1 seizure. Gibraltar requested a naval boarding team due to a suspected sanction breach and they got one. Possible Hunt as FS was involved, but wouldn’t be surprised if it was considered low level. The problem with what you suggest is it makes us look weak willed. “Oh, the EU won’t back us so we’re just going to let your breach of international law go”. Regardless of if they’re officially EU sanctions, they’re still sanctions we’re a part of. Until the Iranians either provide evidence the ship wasn’t… Read more »

Frank62
Guest
Frank62

By wilfully depleting out forces we are the weak willed ones period. HMG spin may decieve the public but it doesn’t decieve adversaries. We have too few troops, ships, aircraft or weapons systems to resist Iran equipped with an extensive multi layered air defence & many far more capable ASMs than we’ll ever get for another generation. They can close the straights of Hormuz & it would be a nightmare to force open. We walk with bluster but carry only matchsticks. We save loads of money by not providing our forces with what they need, the same as we save… Read more »

maurice10
Guest
maurice10

Looking weak is one factor, I agree, however, Spain is at odds with the British running Gib, and playing its own games. Such an attitude does not fill one with the spirit of unity. As I suggested, this British arrest has not generated much from Brussels. We were applying an EU mandate and yet it’s been several days now, without a joint statement from the EU? The Gulf urgently needs NATO warships to escort oil tankers, but as always, the reaction so far looks somewhat dilatory? No, hand back the tanker if there is no firm plan quickly in place.… Read more »

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

How about we take the ship out of Gibraltar aim it at Spain and just let it go. Leave the EU and in particular the Spanish to sort out the ship.

Spyinthesky
Guest
Spyinthesky

IT was a breach of ‘EU Sanctions’ or that was the supposed basis. So this asks a range of questions. The first is was the EU (whoever the hell you consult in such circumstances there) consulted on the matter and sanctioned it? If so why are they so damn quiet. On what basis does a country, or off shore territory undertake such an operation without such support as surely after the event the EU will have to determine if the vessel truly is in breach of its sanctions if not who the hell does. And what UK Govt political knowledge… Read more »

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

@maurice10 – As to your last point Foreign Secretary Hunt had already spoken with the Iranians and said their ship can be released immediately guarantees are given by Iran as to its destination (other than Syria).
Although now the Iranians have a UK tanker I cans see a Mexican standoff developing.

maurice10
Guest
maurice10

Does the Iranian Foreign Secretary have a firm hand on the many elements at play in his country? I don’t think Hunt does!

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

put the s.b.s onto it, take it back and remind the world that you do not mess with the u.k then at least some kind of line will be drawn letting the likes of iran know where the trip hazard sign is

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

Interesting Chris as I was thinking about the European angle on this last night. As you say this an enforcement of an EU sanction, an EU member enforced the sanction, then was threatened, so where was the European response? This is why the EU is far, far away from playing in the big boy leagues with the US and China, there is no force to back up the politics and money. There is the EU naval force “Atlanta” and a reaction force consisting of 4 members that has never deployed, not even stood up, I’m sorry but if you are… Read more »

John Robinson
Guest
John Robinson

Set up? oh please, what utter nonsense and more anti EU rubbish

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

@John Robinson – Quite possibly. But then I didn’t actually comment.

John Robinson
Guest
John Robinson

But you did and I responded “Some of a more cynical mindset might say we were set up by the EU given its our tankers now being harassed in the Gulf and not a peep from Brussels. …. I of course could not possibly comment!”

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

@John Robinson – What part of “I of course could not possibly comment!” means I am not commenting don’t you quite understand?
I deliberately floated what some others might say and then literally stood aside.
So by all means have a go but do try and read the words I have written which you yourself then copied!

John Robinson
Guest
John Robinson

But you did comment and you did post it, just claiming “I couldnt comment” at the end to wash your hands of it doesnt count, you deliberatly “floated” it becuase you agree with it, at least have the balls to admit thats what you thinnk

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

@John Robinson – well if you are going to get all shitty about it then its not my fault if you cannot understand the simple concept that in a conversation people will ‘float’ (to use your term) positions other people might take. Had I agreed with that position then you have every right to to comment as you did. But I didn’t and said so. Maybe its you who needs to have the ‘balls’ to own up when you misunderstand something (which is OK), then have it explained and still peddle your misunderstanding (not OK). For the record it is… Read more »

Herodotus
Guest

Yep, Uncle Donald is very good at floating ideas that he doesn’t personally agree with!

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

@Herodatus – Sorry your point was exactly?

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

SHUT UP BOTH OF YOU.

Herodotus
Guest

Oh dear…been to the pub at lunchtime have we? Word of advice, never comment on social media after a skin-full; tends to make you look extremely foolish!

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

FFS will you lot stop this eu s*** its not what we’re here for.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

this site is becoming too political time everyone stuck to the sites core reason

Ram
Guest
Ram

Illegal sanctions. The world does not jump to the words of the UK or the EU.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

empty it. sink it lets see if an astute can sink a ship

Russ
Guest
Russ

A good to see the usual half arsed, can’t be bothered to find out, rumour mongers and righteous politicians getting in on the story.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

sell the cargo first, let them take the hit on it, i think getting tough and very tough at least.if in doubt shoot!declare exclusion zones around u.k flagged shipping, and back it up with force. maybe even get the 20mm cannon onto the archers (that they were designed to carry), get a bunch of them to act as armed escorts, in a squadron format, these boats have never,ever been accepted as british warships, i’ve often believed that archer squadrons would be of great use at say gibraltar to augment the gib setup.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Gets pop corn.

I’d love to hear May and Corbyns responses to this.

sjb1968
Guest
sjb1968

Corbyn will blame austerity and Theresa will suggest she is personally going to Tehran to strike a deal but firmly stated “no deal is better than a bad one”.
According to the Guardian Iran is upset because of BREXIT and the Express has blamed the EU.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Brilliant. Good effort Sjb!

Politicians, of every hue, from Tory to Labour to Lib Dem to SNP, have my UTTER CONTEMPT.

David Flandry
Guest
David Flandry

Its sufficient to just have contempt. No need to be extreme about it. 🙂

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Ok! Corrected.

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

….and The Mail will blame the immigrants.

Its a proper mess, I don’t suppose I’m the only one who thought it might happen, after they were turned away the first time, it was only a matter of time before they tried again, looks like they’ve bagged a ‘twofer’ deal.

As alredy said, time to breakout the popcorn.

Lewis
Guest
Lewis

And the guardian will blame patriarchy and racism

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

@ sjb1968 – Thanks. Just had a coffee / keyboard interface moment ….

sjb1968
Guest
sjb1968

Sorry, do you think our leaders and media know they are funny.

Callum
Guest
Callum

Boris certainly does, it seems to be the basis for his bid for the premiership

Julie Harris
Guest
Julie Harris

gets more popcorn ?

Bob
Guest
Bob

With Montrose needing repairs and our type 45 still some days away, are there any raf assets that could be rapidly deployed to protect vessels?

Lusty
Guest
Lusty

I believe the nearest RAF assets would be those assigned to Op. Shader, based at RAF Akrotiri. There’s probably a few Reapers dotted around here and there

The RN did have two Wildcat based in Oman, but they have since returned to the UK.

sjb1968
Guest
sjb1968

Perhaps an MPA or an aircraft carrier with some helos armed with ASM’s.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Ask Uncle Sam? He has lots of ships and assets. Don’t see what an RAF aircraft is going to do, what loiter time do they have, apart from Reaper. There are none anyway. Are we going to use a LGB on a FAC? Do our jets even have a cannon? They wanted to remove that once. Oh we have no MPA. Oh we have no air launched ASM either! Sea Eagle removed. Unless we are prepared to intervene with force how do you stop it anyway? The Americans have no such quibbles which is maybe why they are not the… Read more »

Robert blay
Guest
Robert blay

So what are we saying we should do then? With you’re wisdom on this subject? Start a major war over a civilian tanker? Park a Trident sub in the gulf? And yes, our Typhoons have a cannon, as do our warships, our RN/RAF will do just fine thanks.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

“So what are we saying we should do then?” I’m not, I’m moaning like many others here. “With you’re wisdom on this subject?” No need for sarcasm. My opinion is not wisdom. It is opinion. Some might be, some no doubt not so. “Start a major war over a civilian tanker?” Your words not mine. Or? Prevent others from going the same way? Did you enjoy the HMS Cambeltown experience? Or was it Cornwall? How about, have the assets to defend our ships. If a country will not fight back if necessary how is that a deterrent? “Park a Trident… Read more »

Robert blay
Guest
Robert blay

Ok, fair enough, I apologise for my sarcasm. I just get a tad annoyed when many make comments that somehow our gov, MOD or RN/RAF ect haven’t a clue what to do. We have no idea what is going on behind the scenes, we have extremely capable assets in the gulf, and we could deploy more if we need to; but we have to be realistic, it’s a tanker, nobody has fired a shot at anyone, nobody has been killed, and the gov has to be extremely careful how to deal with such international situations; and I share the frustrations… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Agreed.

Robert. All forgotten. And moving on.

Do you agree though something needs to go to the Gulf to protect the other vessels?

RM? SF? Helicopters?

Robert blay
Guest
Robert blay

I think our diplomatic service will probably do more work behind the scenes then any number of escorts. We don’t need a knee jerk reaction to this (not yet anyway) I think the Iranians would still be doing this even if we had 10 T23’s in the gulf, and we are part of a multi national coalition in the gulf, it’s not just us on our own. I’d deploy an Astute class sub to quietly scare every single Iranian vessel shitless that leaves port ?

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

Most of the Gulf is less then 50m depth of water, really too shallow for Astute class subs.
Only if the RN had smaller SSKs, would be more suitable to deal with surface threats.

James
Guest
James

Doesn’t Iran have a few Kilo subs? Not exactly height of tech but by all accounts blooming quiet and a risk to anything sub wise we put nearby.

Gunbuster
Guest
Gunbuster

During GW1 we (The UK) had O boats very very close inshore. They where painted a lovely shade of blue and not the usual black to assist in not being spotted. The Gulf is so shallow that with some good polarising or digital filters and a decent TV camera you can spot subs and mines in the water visually. Not a great place for an ASTUTE.

Robert blay
Guest
Robert blay

I did mean it with tongue firmly in cheek about the Astute.

sjb1968
Guest
sjb1968

Robert what you have to ask yourself is do we have ammunition for our cannons and anyway won’t we prosecute our personnel if they shoot someone these days. I think you will find DM is not suggesting we start a war but highlighting that making yourself incapable of protecting yourself actually makes it more likely. The RN/RAF will only do fine when they have the assets and personnel to deter aggression. This fiasco where Iran told us what they would do in advance is a national embarrassment and a good thing too as long as nobody gets hurt. Perhaps some… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

I do wonder if some good will come out of this sjb.

Puts defence on the map. Nothing like a bit of national shame with the tabloids rubbing HMG’s nose in it.

Robert blay
Guest
Robert blay

We arnt going to deploy the fleet for a civil tanker, even if we had 10 escorts in the gulf, this would still happen. It’s a international game of cat and mouse.

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

@Robert Blay The problem seems to be, that if we fail to do anything, we will be seen as weak when push comes to shove. This would clearly send out the wrong message to any current or indeed future adversary. Now we have to ask ourselves the question, how well equipped are our armed forces? and do we have the numbers to deal with situations like this? As I think we have discussed on many occasions that the build rates for our warships are at best slow, and the fact we lack in part the latest offensive and defensive weapons… Read more »

Alan Garner
Guest
Alan Garner

Robert, I think a little humility and understanding are in order when opinions are in question. You may not like the fact that others don’t always share the same high opinion of the disparate agencies of HMG as you but you have no idea why people may have reached these opinions and what experiences have led them there. Simply being ex forces does not give you, or anyone else, a monopoly on being correct, and no one has any idea who is current or ex forces on this forum, unless they are told. Simply assuming one knows best because of… Read more »

Robert blay
Guest
Robert blay

Good morning Alan, and thanks for the reply, I will take your comments onboard for the future, and i understand that just because i am ex RN i don’t know everything. But, i just get a little tired of the fantasy fleeters, and some of the totally unrealistic financial solutions some commentators give, and the trotting out the old line of cutting the foreign aid budget. I fully understand everyone’s concerns about the defence budget and the size of our armed forces, I personally think 2.5% of GDP for our defence budget is very realistic and achievable, but as one… Read more »

Ari Green
Guest
Ari Green

Yep, I gather from what’s being bandied around in the media that HMG will surrender Grace 1 in return for some mealy mouthed assurances from Iran, what a humiliation, but thanks to the defence cuts that the twits in Government, I could say much worse, have refused to reverse or indeed stop we no longer have any independent capability to defend our interests abroad, we are now the weak link in the western alliance, hence in part why we have become an easy target for the gangster regime in Iran. W e need the new PM to immediately make it… Read more »

Gunbuster
Guest
Gunbuster

Montrose does not need repairs. It’s a pre programmed planned maintenance period and crew change period. If circumstances dictate that the maint period is delayed it will be delayed

sjb1968
Guest
sjb1968

It must have been difficult for those pesky Iranians and how clever they must be, just waiting for our single frigate to pop in for a spot of planned maintenance!
Could she perhaps not have waited until Duncan arrived or is that just such a way out idea.
I am in total awe of our great leaders.

Gunbuster, the sarcasm is not aimed at you.

Gunbuster
Guest
Gunbuster

No probs. I personally know when Montrose is due a maint period and it isn’t yet. I did the last one and will be doing the next one…. Maybe….

sjb1968
Guest
sjb1968

Its looks my lad could well be in the Gulf with 42 RM soon so I just hope this can dealt with peacefully and the RN gets the money it needs soon

Callum
Guest
Callum

She is waiting for Duncan. From what I’ve read, they’ll operate together briefly before Montrose goes in for a spit and polish.

Ronoz
Guest
Ronoz

Hi, if you are quick, the RAN has a spare frigate, eg last of the FFG in the process of being decommissioned. Shouldn’t be too hard to lease it for year or three, just like we did in WW2 & the ’50’s with some of the your vessels and recently with the Navantia AOR while waiting for them to build one for us. HMAS Newcastle is only 25 yrs in service, low mileage, good condition & cheap to run, and more than enough ” schwack” to discourage any IRGC. It could be on permanent deployment & just rotate crews in… Read more »

Rod
Guest
Rod

It’s time to load up a couple of C17s with 539 Assault Squadron’s Offshore Raiding Craft and move the LSD and MCMs up to the SOH. One FF/DD can’t cover 30 movements a day!

Herodotus
Guest

Well I suppose they could…if they could work out what the bloody hell you are talking about…acronyms aaagh!

Matt
Guest
Matt

I’m assuming the Grace 1 is still undergoing an investigation? Some news about that would be of interest right about now. Until it’s proven innocent or guilty, it will be tit-for-tat for a while. Let’s just hope that both sides retain cool heads until the matter of the Grace 1 is resolved
[email protected]

Gandalf
Guest
Gandalf

Piracy pure and simple!

James
Guest
James

Cool cool cue national humiliation as may begs for the ships release ,years of inquiry’s into how this happened and how we can make sure it doesn’t happen again blah blah blah
Maybe if the Navy hadn’t been cut pieces we could have had enough ships to act as a deterrent. If this isn’t a lesson I don’t know what will be.
Speed up T26 start building the T31 and up gun every bloody vessel we have now

Julian1
Guest
Julian1

Time to fly some Apache and Merlin out to Oman and give armed over-watch to supplement the RN – why not provide Typhoon as QRA too or use the Brimstone to take out the Iranian patrol boats? As for re-taking the seized vessels, the SBS specialize in this – in fact they did just this to a ship in the channel in 2001 was it? All this is standard stuff for these highly trained personnel and quality equipment. we have friendly bases in theater and can do this. It is limited, tactical action and does not constitute starting a war… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Are they not secured now at an Iranian port under IRG control?

I’m not sure HMG would risk that. A bit different to seizing a ship on the high seas, which indeed the SBS and FAA practice. Then what? Who sails the ships home?

I think they are gone.

Preventing more incidents has to be the first priority.

But I was virtually accused of war mongering above so best not to have an opinion!!

James
Guest
James

2nd one has been warned and released apparently

sjb1968
Guest
sjb1968

Julian all too late and why risk service personnel lives to rescue the reputation of this current crop of politicians. The Iranians are not threatening the lives of the crews and nor are we theirs. It is time to suck it up and address the problem, which is the gross under funding of the RN in particular.

Lordtemplar
Guest
Lordtemplar

Iran is playing a dangerous game

Helions
Guest
Helions

Less a question of what May is going to do and more “What’s Johnson going to do about the entire situation”… JMHO

Cheers

Harry Bulpit
Guest
Harry Bulpit

This has got out of hand. Rightfully complain about the lack of funding and ships, but the major issue is with the crews. Many of which are British and can now expect possibly years of beatings and torture. God help them if there’s any females on bord. Sod brexit and sod the leadership competition. This means war and its time we start to realise that. Sod negotiations nows the time for action.

sjb1968
Guest
sjb1968

Harry you made me laugh suggesting this has got out of hand and then propose we declare war.
Can I assume you will be down the recruitment office first thing on Monday volunteering to be in the first wave? If not I suggest you think before you type next time.
Should we have attacked Russia over Salisbury?

Harry Bulpit
Guest
Harry Bulpit

1st would happily join if need, 2nd my dads in the army so even if i wasn’t in the military it wouldn’t be in my befit to go to war anyway, 3rd salsibury was an attack on one individual that axidently effected others and 4th I’m not talking about a land campaign. Instead rather an attack with cruise missiles such as the one we saw earlier this year in Syria. Id also fire upon any iram ship approaching British shipping after the first warning.

Herodotus
Guest

?

Frank62
Guest
Frank62

Todays award for the most succinct comment goes to Herddotus for, “?”.

Well done.

Herodotus
Guest

Thank-you! Assume the ceremony will be black-tie with lots of champers!!!

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Just re reading the article, which as been updated. No Brits on board the vessels according to the F Sec.

Harry Bulpit
Guest
Harry Bulpit

What about the previous vessel?

Harry Bulpit
Guest
Harry Bulpit

Just read it and this is some good news. But if there British or not, they sailed under are flag and so we have a duty of care.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

I agree.

As mentioned elsewhere while I’d not have us bombing Iran I’d have us defend our vessels if the need arises.

Harry Bulpit
Guest
Harry Bulpit

It may seem a bit extreme but i see little other options. If Iran is willing to return the crew while keeping the vessels then we should stick to the debate table. However, presumably they won’t since we have no actual leverage on them i think a small but precise bombardment. Would demonstrate to Iran and the world that we are not week and can act. Therefore giving us more strength in negotiations.

Frank62
Guest
Frank62

But it’s Iran that has the numbers of up to date, plus plenty of older but fairly effective, weapons systems that would be able to devestate the oil trade & gulf states if the anti was upped. Escalating risks the Gulf oil supply.
Russia & Indian crew on the Stena Impero, plus the reliance on Gulf oil by the PRC might bring more effective pressure on Iran than a military response; so long as Russia & PRC aren’t more than happy tosee the UK/EU/USA embarrased like this.

Harry Bulpit
Guest
Harry Bulpit

Unfortunately i only see it getting worse, and to the point where iran does cut of the straite. Since trump would never back down, and even if Iran does get its way it will only push for more. By showing are willing ness to use force it will demonstrate to Iran we won’t be bullied. For a country like iran often strength is the only thing they respect.

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

Are you even sure there is British crew on them?

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

“Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said one of the seized ships was British-flagged and the other sailed under Liberia’s flag. The crews members comprise a range of nationalities but are not believed to include British citizens, he said.“

Johnny
Guest
Johnny

Don’t worry Corbyn is going to tea the the Ayotallah

Ben
Guest
Ben

Mesdar appears to be back underway returning to original planned route from what I can tell on Marine Traffic.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Article updated.

Only 1 Tanker seized.

Finney
Guest
Finney

No British crew and not British registered so why is it out business? It should send a message to oil companies that of they don’t register and pay their taxes in the UK then why should they be entitled to protection from the British crown?

Johnny
Guest
Johnny

We absolutely need to get aircraft out there and if we have to drop a sd1 or a brimstone or 12 then so be it

James M
Guest
James M

How the f**k has this been allowed to happen? We should have had eyes on every single British flagged vessel in that strait (even if it’s by RPAS), and a Quick Reaction team on standby to board and protect any vessel that was threatened.

This is a complete embarrassment to the UK, but of course HMG will still refuse to increase defence spending. Brexit looks set to happen whether it’s wanted or not, we need a strong military now more than we ever have since 1982.

Sean
Guest
Sean

“Brexit looks set to happen whether it’s wanted”
It is, by the majority of voters, it’s just political class are fighting back against democracy.

Herodotus
Guest

It ‘was wanted’ by a majority of those that voted. Not ‘it is wanted’ and not by the ‘majority of voters’!

Sean
Guest
Sean

If you don’t bother to vote then you aren’t by definition one of the voters.

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Perfect answer to repeated gum bumping by H on brexit!

James
Guest
James

It still very much is wanted, the amount that changed minds equally the same amount have switched other sides seeing how much of a joke the Eu is towards us.

Herodotus
Guest

I tell you what, let’s have another vote on the issue. Although things look uncertain ahead, you can’t rule out a second referendum!

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Let’s, and depending on the result, shall we have a third, fourth? Maybe get North Korean observers in to ensure it is done correctly and this time we vote the way we have been instructed to. Then, maybe we include the result of the next general election, possibly local elections, maybe down to the local school Governers? Whoever doesn’t like the result, we all just keep voting! Bloody hell yaaaaaaaaaan, get over it! Let’s get Putin and his election team in for some advice eh?

Herodotus
Guest

Hmmmm, Sunday lunch does seem to have been enjoyed rather too much by some contributors (hick). In all probability there will be a second referendum……perhaps in the shape of a general election…..that’s parliamentary democracy folks!

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Oh dear, I dont drink and have been working since 07:00! Presumption is the mother of all f**k ups my friend. And with the recent antics of our so called elected reps, there not much democracy in the current parliament. But my post still stands and some of those who voted remain (oh dear that’s me as well, how confusing for some) just don’t seem to understand that neither side will give in, and it starts with a second ref but for those who don’t like the result, where and when does it end?

Geoffrey Roach
Guest
Geoffrey Roach

One thing is needed now more than anything, everywhere, and that is for everyone to calm down. The most important people are on those ships. When we all go to bed tonight I expect the kikes of Jeremy Hunt and Penny Mordant and a lot of others will be up trying their best. I’ll repeat what I’ve said before. If you think all politicians are crap you can always stand for election yourselves.

Alan Garner
Guest
Alan Garner

Not particularly relevant to the situation, but you can’t effectively “stand for election yourself”. If that were true we would have far greater political plurality in the house than we do, and far more independents. The main parties operate a very slick shortlist system which, along with first past the post, ensures talented, principled and strong willed people standing without their support have little chance of winning and malleable careerists have every chance, which in turn leads to the UK in 2019, and among other things, not even half the number of escorts the RN needs for exactly this type… Read more »

Geoffrey Roach
Guest
Geoffrey Roach

Morning Alan…I wasn’t just talking about parliament. The constant complaint here is that ALL politicians are “rogues and vagabonds”. There are plenty of opportunities at county and district council level other than that i just try to make the point that all politicians are not the same, or do people have an argument with the likes of Jeremy Hunt who wants to increase spending dramatically. No argument about the number of escorts but we’ve been in this state for twenty years.I have long advocated the idea of a class of small warships of Corvette size or maybe even returning to… Read more »

Charlie
Guest
Charlie

It is just very embarrassing really and a sign of absolute incompetence. As others have duly noted, we should have known and prepared for this before the first Royal Marine fast roped it down onto the deck of the Grace 1. Even saving that, the Iranians gave us specific, advanced warning they were going to do this. And we failed, two British operated ships seized (only one currently so I believe, but they could have kept the other one too if they wanted). Bigger picture it is a consequence indeed of lack of funding, successive cuts eroding the RN –… Read more »

Ulya
Guest
Ulya

Interesting situation, from what I understand over this side of the world the guard are playing their own game and the moderates in the government are not happy, but right now the hard liners have the loudest voice due to Americans maximum pressure campaign. Pity the UK inserted itself in the middle

Helions
Guest
Helions
geoff
Guest
geoff

Why don’t our tankers pass closer to the Arabian side of the Gulf-is it because the waters are too shallow in that area? Also-perhaps time to institute a Convoy system. In addition surely a quick way to up the RN’s presence in the area would be to send some of our OPV’s in to help? Even given for their less than impressive firepower they should at least be able to deter Iran’s smaller ships and would also provide valuable additional eyes and ears?

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Where is Mr Reeves? Send in the Archers! With the “G” ferry as mother.

geoff
Guest
geoff

🙂

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

Both of these tankers were stopped in Omani waters. So technically the Iranians could have been stopped by the Omanis.

Rob
Guest
Rob

Article on Sky News this morning lamenting the defence cuts over the last 25 years, including lack of MPA and escorts. Perhaps this situation will be a wake up call.

Iain
Guest
Iain

They can say it was the defense cuts of the last 25 years but in reality this problem has been brewing since before the Falklands. 40 years of continuous and foolhardy mismanagement of the funding of the UK Armed forces mean in my opinion that every single Prime Minister and Chancellor and Defense Secretary of that period is at least partly culpable for the situation that exists today. They got a massive warning in 1982 but each and every successive administration since has refused to listen. The question they very rapidly need to answer now is what are they going… Read more »

Herodotus
Guest

Arguably the rot set in post-Suez (1956). Britain retreating, with its tail between its legs, after being reprimanded by both the USA and USSR. It was clear to many third world nations that British power was in decline!

Iain
Guest
Iain

Yes, well we don’t mention the S word. That still leaves a bad taste in the mouths of the generation before mine. I don’t disagree that many of the problems started then.

Martin S
Guest
Martin S

There is only 2 answers if we wish to continue sending British flagged/owned tankers into the gulf. A full convoy system which would tie up a considerable portion of the fleet or they have to chance it on their own. Alternatively we release the tanker at Gib and walk away from the problem.

Gunbuster
Guest
Gunbuster

Convoy Ops during the Tanker wars of the 80s needed 3 vessels to carry out. 2 on patrol and one on stand down.
The convoy consisted of the authorised flagged vessels and an accompanying warship and then every man and his dog tagging on for freebie cover at the end.

Herodotus
Guest

The ineptitude of this government is breath-taking. We have a very fine diplomatic service that is universally respected. But we have inadequate military resources to protect British interests globally. Yet, we end up in a farcical situation where the Iranians’ warn us about what they are going to do, and then go ahead and do it. British shipping should not have put in jeopardy. This is a complete failure by HMG in creating a situation (impounding an Iranian tanker) and then taking a limited and uncertain response to the consequences. If we didn’t have the immediate assets to protect our… Read more »

Frank62
Guest
Frank62

Hunt has been a loyal member of the cabinet which has enacted cut upon cut to the military & other public services(& wrote a book advocating the privatisation of the NHS), so it sems hypocrasy of the highest order for him to talk about the error of armed forces cuts when the wind changes & he’s seeking to become Tory leader & PM. Boris is no better. As you say HMG ineptitude is breath-taking. Worse still, there’s no real sign of improvement from any party on the horizon in my opinion. May be we need events like this toexpose the… Read more »

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Corbyn? ……. yes he and his shadow cabinet of fourth rate rejects would sort this out in hours wouldn’t they! Rather a clown than a weak brainwashed pathetic loser who has been recorded at a peace rally saying he wants ‘redundancies, as many as possible in the miliatry’. Give me the clown any time pal.

George Amery
Guest
George Amery

Hi folks hope all are well. Yes this is a rather awkward moment for HMG. Nonetheless, the UK will carry on in a calm measured response. No doubt military options are being considered. As some of the posts on this site have mentioned, what of the EU then? The ironic case is that this matter was triggered by the UK carrying out an EU sanction against Syria following the detention of an Iranian ship of the coast of Gibraltar. Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t recall any EU assets coming to join the UK/US navel deployment. Doesn’t EU… Read more »

Herodotus
Guest

The decision to impound the Iranian tanker was made by the British Government, not the EU! I know that many contributors to this site view the EU as the anti-Christ…the harbinger of all things evil….But to blame the EU for this is absurd. This mess is a result of poor Foreign Office decision making!

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

I agree with you on HMG ineptitude over this.

But I don’t think Geoff is “blaming” the EU. Nor is anyone else.

The issue seems to be this was in response to an EU embargo. The UK is still part of the EU, and carried it out. It should then get support in that.

Regardless of Brexit ( that saying again ) the European nations are meant to be our friends and allies, in or out of the EU, it makes no difference.

And the silence from Brussels, which is deliberate,
Is deafening.

That I believe is the issue here where the EU is concerned.

Herodotus
Guest

It has only been a matter of hours….how do we know what contact has been made by the EU with the British Government. I am sure that any EU comment on the situation will be made in agreement with the UK and the best interests of the tanker’s crew.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Yes, we shall see.

As for silence, I was also referring to the incident weeks ago at Gibraltar.

I believe the only peep came from a Spanish politician dragging Gib into it and saying the info actually came from the Americans.

Sad times. As for Suez, I’m too young to remember that but agree that was probably the start of the ongoing malaise!

Iain
Guest
Iain

I imagine the question may be not if we wanted to do so but if we were legally obligated to do so once the Government of Gibraltar had made the request and I also wonder who asked the Gibraltar government to make the request in the first place. I can just see a faceless Eurocrat sitting in Brussels rubbing his hand together knowing that we, unlike most of our European partners, would honour our obligation.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

We have the means, the professionalism, and the training to do so.

Our forces lack support from those in government.

Herodotus
Guest

Thanks for that Iain…’Quot errat demonstrandum’! The Eurocrat was undoubtedly Mephistopheles himself…I can smell his sulphurous farts from here

Iain
Guest
Iain

Actually he was probably just a small man with a huge chip on his shoulder. But I love the image idea

Herodotus
Guest

No doubt many of our anti-EU contributors will be able to identify with him?

Iain
Guest
Iain

More than likely, personally I voted to remain but I’m afraid that doesn’t mean I consider our european partners to be squeaky clean by any means

Herodotus
Guest

Neither do I, but I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories about being dropped in it by the EU. Many EU members want us to remain….we, surprisingly, are still held in high regard. There is a tendency for contributors to this site to play to the gallery as far as the EU is concerned. We have been subjected to enough of that bigoted nonsense by the Brexit Party and other self-serving groups. Its time for a little more respect towards our European partners!

James
Guest
James

Exactly, expecting to see a huge speech very soon justifying the arming of the ‘Eu as a nation’ and why it’s better blah blah blah.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Regardless of the EU question and our own incompetence in this affair. It all boils down to Trump withdrawing from the deal in place.

Herodotus
Guest

It is everything to do with continuing sanctions. A policy that Britain and the EU disagreed with profoundly.

Helions
Guest
Helions
john
Guest
john
Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Intriguing reading.

And damning if true.

Gandalfo Americano
Guest
Gandalfo Americano

Does anyone really believe this happened by accident?

Britain took an Iranian tanker under pressure from (((international bankers))), who want Iran to play ball with currency games. With a wink and a nod, Iran takes British tanker by surprise, neutralizing the score, plus or minus. It’s all very cordial.

Herodotus
Guest

IDS admitted, on Andrew Marr this morning, that this was a massive cock-up by the government. There will, I am sure, be much more to come on this one!

T.S
Guest

This whole situation has given the opinion that we need to procure a new class of vessel. We need something around 1500-2000 tonnes, 40+ knots and armed to the teeth. Something that is designed to operate close to shore and can be used to escort vessels in high threat environments without risking a capital high cost ship. Armed with 2×57/76mm guns, 24 seaceptor, CIWS, and importantly dedicated martlet and Brimstone launchers with fast reload time, wildcat and fire scout UAV. The ability to engage, defend against and destroy large boat swarms, shore based batteries and drones. Basically viscous in a… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

I’ve been hoping / suggesting, a new lighter corvette type of vessel for the RN for some time. Even a lighter type, but we’ll armed.

Which is why I support the T31 programme, but many more than 5, keeping T26 T45 for their AA and ASW escort duties.

Problem is I see these alongside our existing blue water navy and as others here rightly suggest, HMG might then view them as adequate and reduce escorts further.

T.S
Guest

Daniel has hope this whole situation dispels the current way of thinking and makes them realise we need the right vessels for the job. We either need 10 medium T31 frigates with decent armament, or stick to the current five and build another 8-10 of what I have suggested above. I am at least feeling we will soon hear news of some sort of improvement in numbers, but this MUST be allied to increased armament of current and new platforms. Overmatch in all areas. In regards to the River 2’s, most people say it should not be up gunned and… Read more »

AlbertStarburst
Guest
AlbertStarburst

I think a low-cost, relatively low-tech WWII-era-style Vosper Motor Gun boat, armed to the teeth would be a start. A “mother” ship also armed to the teeth that could say transport them trans-ocean would also be very useful. Build lots of them and give small UK ship/boat yards an ongoing small number per month production run. Be useful for UK coastal defence too.

Gunbuster
Guest
Gunbuster

That sounds LCS like and you do not want to go down that road…

Gandalf
Guest
Gandalf

Glad to see that the second tanker was let go.
I am still confused on what EU sanctions againts Syria were enforced in Gibraltar? Does that include oil, and would it not be applicable to companies in the EU? Would a Russian tanker be seized in the same case (ie how can the EU decide legally that foreign cojntries cannot do business together)?

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

the ‘pointy end’ of montrose needs a touching up of paint.the one good thing that will come out of this is the daily comments from and sundy that the royal navy is too small and something should be done about it and fast

Herodotus
Guest

Unfortunately it will be accompanied by a bluster of political farting….and nothing of substance will be done. Hang a few politicians out to dry, and we might see change….but that isn’t going to happen. I’m afraid that politicians, regardless of party, look after themselves. After all, turkeys’ don’t vote for Christmas!

Gunbuster
Guest
Gunbuster

Its an old picture.
When she left my care she was Tiddley Boo!
No rust streaks on the hull especially around the anchor pockets and Anchors.
More importantly she was in date for all maintenance and everything was serviceable.

T.S
Guest

Generally, what is the material state of the T23 fleet like gunbuster? Will they struggle to last the duration until replacement or will they soldier on without major issue?

Gunbuster
Guest
Gunbuster

The ones I have worked on over the past 4 years have been a mixture of pre and post upgrades. Post upgrade vessels have had a lot of work done to them to ensure the hull life remains acceptable. I have still to see a T23 with a DG upgrade and to be honest I am unlikely to see one here anytime soon. They will manage to carry on until they are replaced . Considering they where known as SKODA Class when introduced (by those of us who where on “Luxury liner class” T22s !) with a 15-20 year life… Read more »

Helions
Guest
Helions
Billythefish
Guest
Billythefish

And we continue to support Iran against our allies the US….

Helions
Guest
Helions