MOSCOW, July 11. /TASS/. Russia keeps a close eye on developments concerning the alleged incident involving a British tanker and Iranian boats in the Persian Gulf, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.
"We are keeping a close eye on the information flow regarding what is going on in the Persian Gulf area," he said. "We have taken note of the information that such an incident had allegedly taken place. We also took note of a statement by Iranian representatives that this information contradicts reality."
"Anyway, we believe that the freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz must be ensured without any reservations. This is extremely important for the global economy and for the global economic environment," Peskov stressed. "We continue to call on everyone to show restraint in the Persian Gulf so as not to up the ante and resolve the situation through dialogue."
The incident and parties’ statements
On Wednesday, CNN reported citing some US officials that five boats that could belong to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) tried to stop a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. The tanker was reportedly leaving the Gulf when the boats approached it. The vessel’s crew was ordered to change course and stop in Iran’s territorial waters. According to CNN, the tanker was escorted by the Royal Navy’s HMS Montrose frigate. Its crew insisted that the alleged Iranian military servicemen immediately back off, which they did.
On Thursday, Reuters reported that London had confirmed that the Iranian boats tried to impede a British merchant vessel in the Strait of Hormuz. According to the British side, three Iranian boats were involved in the incident.
On July 11, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps denied reports saying that its boats were trying to impede a British tanker in the Persian Gulf. According to the press service, the IRGC naval forces are carefully and thoroughly carrying out tasks in the Persian Gulf, and there have been no incidents involving foreign vessels, including British ships, over the past 24 hours.