World

Britain sends third warship to Persian Gulf amid tensions with Iran

Britain is sending another warship to the Gulf to defend freedom of navigation, the defence minister said on Saturday, after Iran seized a British-flagged tanker in the region.

Iranian commandos seized a British-flagged tanker in July

British Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender will escort ships through the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf after a U.K-flagged oil tanker was seized by Iranian forces in July. (Reuters)

Britain is sending another warship to the Persian Gulf to defend freedom of navigation, the defence minister said on Saturday, after Iran seized a British-flagged tanker in the region.

Tensions have risen between Iran and Britain after Iranian commandos seized a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz last month. That came after British forces captured an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar, accusing it of violating sanctions on Syria.

The navy says the HMS Defender, a Type 45 destroyer, will join the frigates HMS Kent and HMS Montrose. The Montrose is due to leave for planned repairs later this month, while the Kent has relieved the destroyer HMS Duncan.

"Wherever the red ensign flies around the world, the U.K. stands by to protect freedom of navigation whenever is it tested," defence minister Ben Wallace said.

With files from The Associated Press