Iran summons United Kingdom envoy over 'unfounded' tanker accusations

An oil tanker is seen after it was attacked at the Gulf of Oman

Britain's ambassador to Iran sought an urgent meeting with the country's Foreign Ministry after the United Kingdom broadly backed the U.S. in blaming Tehran for attacks on oil tankers.

A picture obtained by AFP from Iranian News Agency ISNA on June 13, 2019 reportedly shows fire and smoke billowing from Norwegian-owned Front Altair, one of two tankers attacked in the Gulf.

The situation today is different from the 1980's and there is not a war between Iran and Iraq or other countries in the region.

'Let's see Iran stop its destabilising activities in Lebanon through Hezbollah, in Yemen where they are firing missiles into Saudi Arabia, as we have seen.

Last week, two oil tankers - Marshall Islands-flagged Front Altair and the Panama-flagged Kokuka Courageous - were attacked near the Strait of Hormuz.

Since the attacks in May, insurance premiums have already increased by 5 percent to 15 percent, ship owners told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, noting that shipping rates and premiums are bound to increase further after the latest attacks. "I believe that the main task of the foreign Ministers to avoid the war", said Asselborn.

The United States is considering "a full range of options to counter Iran", including military, but Washington does not want war with Iran. "We don't want war", he said in another interview with Fox News on the same day.

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Tehran has strongly denied being behind the attack, which Mr Hunt said built on "a pattern of destabilising Iranian behaviour and pose a serious danger to the region".

The US Secretary of State stressed that the US gets relatively little of its energy supplies through the strait.

Other allies of the United States were more easily convinced, and some apparently did not see the surveillance footage as being necessary to establish that Iran was the likeliest culprit.

On Saturday, it summoned the British ambassador in Tehran to complain about its "unacceptable stance" after the UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt give his backing to the USA, the ISNA news agency reported.

"We have to be very careful", the AP cited him as saying. "The regional rivalries between Iran and countries like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are still there". We are urging all sides to de-escalate. The Iranian foreign Ministry rejected these accusations.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who is serving a five-year sentence for allegedly trying to topple the Iranian government, has begun a hunger strike in protest at her detention, her husband said on Saturday.

The crew of that tanker was initially rescued by another commercial vessels, but it too was surrounded by IRGC attack boats and ordered to release the 23 sailors into Iranian custody, where they have been held ever since, their images displayed on Iranian state television while the walk the fine line between "rescued" and "detained".

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