Iranian Boats Accused of Trying to Seize British Oil Tanker

British frigate was escorting the tanker, and chased boats away

Officials are accusing five Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps boats of having tried to capture the British Heritage, an oil tanker that was sailing in the Persian Gulf at the time. The tanker was escorted by the HMS Montrose, a British frigate who ordered the Iranian boats off.

After British Royal Marines seized an Iranian tanker near Gibraltar, BP was concerned that this particular oil tanker was going to be targeted. The tanker ad been waiting in Saudi waters for fear it was going to be targeted.

Officials say that the Iranian boats ordered the British Heritage into Iranian waters. It didn’t go, and the HMS Montrose, which was following behind the tanker, told the boats to go away, which they did. No shots were fired.

Iranian officials did not address the specific incident, though President Hassan Rouhani had warned Britain about “consequences” for having captured their tanker, and there was a lot of expectation it would be a tit-for-tat move like this.

US officials claimed to have captured “video footage” of the incident, though so far this has not been released. British officials have not officially commented on what happened, though in practice it seems that nothing ended up happening, with no shots fired and no ships actually captured.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.