A Royal Navy type 45 Destroyer was threatened by three Iranian fast attack boats while escorting a trio of British vessels through the Strait of Hormuz, sparking fears of an imminent international attack.

HMS Dragon, which patrols the Eastern Mediterranean, was travelling through the Persian Gulf when Iran’s machine gun boats halted its course and demanded Dragon to remain 1000 yards clear of the port side. The captain of the type 45 destroyer immediately ordered five blasts of the ship’s horn, which is the international warning sign. The Officer of the Watch then radioed over to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards – the Span Navy – warning that its boats prevented the Destroyer from completing its journey. The Span Navy replied: “For your information we are here to safeguard our national sovereignty and we are doing routine operations.” The Iranian craft boats eventually moved aside, but if they hadn’t, the Royal Navy crew would have had to fire flares and warning shots, according to Commander Carter-Quinn.

He told The Telegraph: “You have to provide a robust response.

“The day you don’t take it seriously is the day you become unstuck.”

Lieutenant Commander Richard Attwater also noticed that the Royal Navy navigates through dangerous waters as tensions between Iran and the West grow. Around a third of the world’s seaborne petroleum exports pass through the Strait of Hormuz – including the majority of Britain’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports from Qatar. Iran has a noticeable sea mine capability, meaning the rest of the world has to pay close attention in case Iran decides to close the waterway. As part of the international effort to deter the Iranians, The Royal Navy has a permanent presence in the Gulf at the HMS Jufair naval base in Bahrain – west of the Strait of Hormuz. Mr Attwater told the newspaper: “The contest between Iran and Saudi Arabia provides the backdrop to everything out here.

“It’s a very volatile region.

“And we’re sailing 8,000 tonnes of Britain right through the middle of it.”

Professor Michael Clarke of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) claimed Iran uses “the Gulf as a tap to turn on the tension and indicate their degree of cooperation with the international community”.

Source » express