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U.K. Sends HMS Duncan To Persian Gulf As Tensions Escalate

At Sea -- HMS Duncan (C) monitors the Russian battle cruiser Peter the Great (L) and aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsovon as they proceed through the North Sea, October 20, 2016

The United Kingdom will be sending the destroyer HMS Duncan to the Persian Gulf, according to Sky News. The HMS Duncan was due to relieve the HMS Montrose in the region, but this deployment was brought forward due to increased tensions between Iran and the United Kingdom.

On July 11, the HMS Montrose allegedly had to confront five Iranian ships that were seeking to impede the BP tanker British Heritage as it moved out of the Strait of Hormuz.

The confrontation between Iran and the United Kingdom escalated when Gibraltar authorities seized the tanker Grace 1, which was traveling from Iran.

Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo defended the seizure of the 330-meter (1,000-foot) vessel. "The decisions of Her Majesty's government of Gibraltar were taken totally independently, based on breaches of existing law and not at all based on extraneous political considerations," he said in Gibraltar’s parliament on July 12.

The HMS Duncan will be leaving the Black Sea, where it participated in Sea Breeze 19 naval exercises.

The destroyer was launched in 2013 and carries a crew of 180 along with 60 troops.

Sky new, Reuters