Germany and France on Saturday called on Iran to immediately release a British oil tanker it seized in the Strait of Hormuz.
The capture of the Swedish-owned, British-flagged Stena Impero on Friday by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was a “dangerous further aggravation of an already tense situation,” a German foreign ministry statement said.
“Such action hampers a necessary de-escalation of tensions in the Gulf region,” the French foreign ministry added.
Both Germany and France underlined their solidarity with Britain.
“We call on Iran to release the ships immediately,” the German ministry said.
The French ministry statement said: “We call on Iranian authorities to quickly release the (British) ship and its crew, and to respect freedom of navigation principles in the Gulf.”
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said Friday they had seized the British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz for breaking international maritime rules.
Mehr news agency quoted an unnamed Iranian maritime official as saying that the ship had breached international maritime regulations by passing through a prohibited maritime passage in the Strait, turning off its tracking signals and ignoring warnings issued by Iranian authorities.