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Confusion And A Sigh Of Relief Over A UK Oil Tanker In The Gulf


FILE-- In this July 2, 2012 file photo, an Iranian Revolutionary Guard speedboat moves in the Persian Gulf while an oil tanker is seen in background.

Amid tensions in the wake of a Syria-bound Iranian oil tanker being impounded at Gibraltar, news about a UK oil tanker having stopped in the Persian Gulf caused concern on Saturday.

After the Thursday seizure of a supertanker by UK and Gibraltar, some influential figures in Iran had threatened to retaliate by seizing a British oil tanker. Then Early on Saturday reports emerged that a UK-flagged tanker had come to a halt in the Persian Gulf.

Immediately concerns grew that it might have been stopped by Iranian naval forces.

Hours later, a United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) official told Reuters that the tanker is "safe and well".

The Pacific Voyager oil tanker stopped as part of a routine procedure to adjust its arrival time at its next port of call and has since continued on its way, the official said.

The UKMTO, which coordinates shipping in the Gulf, had been in direct contact with the vessel, the official said.

Iran had dismissed as "fabricated" reports that the ship had been seized by its Revolutionary Guard forces.

With reporting by Reuters

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