Friday 12 July 2019 2:05 pm

UK deploys second warship to Gulf amid rising Iran tensions

The UK will send another warship to the Gulf in order to bolster its military presence as tensions with Iran escalate.

Read more: Iran urges UK to release seized oil tanker

Type 45 Destroyer HMS Duncan will sail to the Gulf in the next few days to join HMS Montrose.

Montrose intervened earlier this week when Iranian ships attempted to seize a British oil tanker, according to the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Iran has denied the altercation.

The MoD has brought forward HMS Duncan’s deployment – originally scheduled to relieve Montrose – in an attempt to deal with rising risks in the region.

Iran’s alleged attempt to seize the oil tanker British heritage follow the UK’s arrest of an Iranian tanker last week.

The UK said the tanker had been on its way to Syria, where trade would have breached European sanctions.

A war of rhetoric has broken out between the countries, with one Iranian official telling state news agency IRNA that the UK must not get involved in “this dangerous game”.

Earlier today Iran demanded the UK release the oil tanker it seized.

HMS Duncan will work alongside HMS Montrose before the latter returns to Bahrain for maintenance.

A government spokeswoman said: “As part of our long-standing presence in the Gulf, HMS Duncan is deploying to the region to ensure we maintain a continuous maritime security presence while HMS Montrose comes off task for pre-planned maintenance and crew changeover.

Read more: UK ships on heightened alert after Iran ‘tries to block’ oil tanker

“This will ensure that the UK, alongside international partners, can continue to support freedom of navigation for vessels transiting through this vital shipping lane.”