Iran’s reckless actions risk causing a “disastrous” escalation of hostilities in the Middle East, the British military chief said.
Defense Chief of Staff Sir Nick Carter said he made a “big mistake” when Iran targeted a tanker on Mercer Street, killing the British and Romanians.
The July 29 drone strike off Oman led to Iran’s international criticism after Britain, the United States and Israel held Tehran accountable.
Carter told BBC Radio 4 Today’s program:
“They made a big mistake in the attack on the ship on Mercer Street last week, of course because it made the state of play in the Gulf so internationalized.”
“Ultimately, it’s an action that leads to escalation, which can be very easily miscalculated and very disastrous for all the people of the Gulf and the international community, so restore deterrence. need to do it.”
Carter’s comment came shortly after another incident in the waters around Oman.
The hijacker was believed to have seized a ship off the United Arab Emirates in the Gulf of Oman.
Warning 001 / AUG / 2021 Update 002
Category: Incident-Possibility of hijacking-Other than piracy
Description: The boarder has left the ship. The ship is safe.Incident completedhttps://t.co/toURu6jSzg#MaritimeSecurity #marsec pic.twitter.com/IvC44GOiic
— UK Maritime Trade Business (UKMTO) (@ UK_MTO) August 4, 2021
They then appeared to have left the vessel, and the Royal Navy’s Royal Navy’s Office of Maritime Trade (UKMTO) organization reported that the case, which stated that it was “potentially hijacked,” was “completed.”
“The ship is safe,” the group said without identifying the ship.
Lloyd’s List of shipping authorities and DryAd Global, a maritime intelligence company, have identified the hijacked vessel as the Panama-flagged asphalt tanker Asphalt Princess.
Asphalt Princess satellite tracking data showed that it was gradually heading towards Iran’s waters early Wednesday.
However, shortly before the UKMTO issued the statement, it stopped and diverts to Oman.
Over the past few years, as tensions between Iran and the West over activities in the Middle East and Tehran’s fragile nuclear trade have continued, commercial transport in important Persian Gulf waterways has become increasingly targeted.
Saeed Khatibzadeh, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, said Tehran had played a role, saying it was “totally suspicious” of the recent maritime attack in the Persian Gulf, apparently in response to the seizure of the ship on Tuesday.
The Gulf of Oman is near the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf, through which one-fifth of all oil passes.
Fujairah, on the east coast of the United Arab Emirates, is the region’s main port, where ships can accept new oil cargo, receive supplies and exchange crew.
Over the last two years, a series of explosions and hijackings have occurred in the waters off Fujairah.
Carter said Britain would work with its allies to determine the best way to protect shipping in the region, but returning to a convoy system escorted by warships “may not always be the right way to go.” ..
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said Britain, Romania and Liberia, holding the flag on which Mercer Street was sailing, sent a letter to the UN Security Council chairman to raise the issue.
“The board must address Iran’s precarious behavior and lack of respect for international law,” Rab said.