Governments in both Iran and the United Kingdom appear to be scrambling with developments in the Persian Gulf region following the detention of a British-flagged oil tanker by Iran’s revolutionary guards on Friday.
In Iran, Ali Shamkhani, the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, visited IRGC’s Khatam ol-Anbia Headquarters to examine the combat readiness of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and other parts of the Iranian armed forces on Monday July 22.
In the meantime, UK Prime Minister Theresa May is going to chair an emergency committee Cobra meeting on Monday to discuss the latest security developments in the Persian Gulf region.
The British government has been criticized during recent days for its forces’ performance in the Gulf region.
Shamkhani has reportedly met with the commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Headquarters. During the meeting, HQ commander Gholam Ali Rashid said Iranian armed forces can “surprise the aggressors” in a way that would be hard for them to calculate Iran’s reaction.
“The cost of aggression against Iran will be higher than what potential aggressors may think,” said Rashid at the meeting.
As the situation in the Persian Gulf region becomes increasingly more volatile, UK Prime Minister “Theresa May is expected to receive updates from ministers and officials and discuss maintaining the security of shipping in the area,” reported the BBC on Monday.
Meanwhile, UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is expected to brief the members of Parliament on the situation in the Persian Gulf later on Monday.
The United Kingdom has declared that diplomacy will be its main and first policy option regarding the tense situation following the seizure of a British-flagged tanker by Iran, but the government in London has been said to be also considering other options.
Defense Minister Tobias Elwood said on Saturday that UK officials are consulting with their EU counterparts about the nature of UK’s reaction.
While Iranian officials insist that the British-flagged ship detained on Friday had violated international shipping regulations, UK officials are adamant that there was nothing illegal about the ship and her crew’s behavior.
The UK describes the detention of the oil tanker “a hostile act.” London insists that the ship was in Omani waters when it was seized by Iran and that its detention was against international regulations.
On Sunday, Hunt spoke to his French and German counterparts and thanked them for their support for the United Kingdom’s position.