LONDON – The release Sunday of an audio recording has shed new light on the seizure of a British-flagged tanker at the hands of Iran's Revolutionary Guard as tensions flare in the strategic Strait of Hormuz.
The audio released by maritime security risk firm Dryad Global shows that a British frigate was too far away from the targeted tanker to keep it from being diverted into an Iranian port despite U.K. efforts to keep it from being boarded.
On the recording, a stern-voiced British naval officer insists that the U.K.-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero must be allowed to sail through the Strait of Hormuz even as Iranian paramilitary forces demand – successfully – that the vessel change course.
The audio shows how Britain's once mighty Royal Navy was unable to prevent the ship's seizure, which has been condemned by Britain and its European allies as they continue to call for a reduction of tensions in the vital waterway.
The free flow of traffic through the Strait of Hormuz is of critical importance to the world's energy supplies because one-fifth of all global crude exports pass through the narrow waterway between Iran and Oman.