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Iran on Friday says it seized a British-owned oil tanker and its crew, amid reports it diverted a second British tanker towards Iran, in a clear message to the UK and the US that they're willing to get aggressive in a feud over oil sanctions.
The UK and US both have warships in the region that have proven their mettle in backing down Iranian threats.
US - UK - Rescue - Mission - Aircraft
It's unclear if the US or UK will attempt a rescue mission, but with two aircraft carriers, US destroyers, and a UK frigate in the region, any potential escalation could lead to a massive naval conflict.
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Iran - Friday - Oil - Tanker - Crew
Iran on Friday said it seized a British oil tanker and its crew amid reports it diverted a second tanker towards Iran within hours of the seizure in a clear message to the UK and the US that they're willing to get aggressive in a feud over oil sanctions. But they may soon have to contend with heavy US and UK naval firepower already in the region.
The US sent its USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier and attached strike group to the region in May. This represents the world's most potent unit of naval power, with the aircraft carrier's formidable air wing, a cruiser, four destroyers, a cruiser, and support ships.
USS - Boxer - Carrier - AV-8B - Harrier
The USS Boxer, a smaller carrier for AV-8B Harrier jets and helicopters, is also operating nearby and said it recently downed an Iranian drone. Iran denied this and posted video of one of its drones landing to challenge the US's narrative, although it's unclear if Iran's footage proves anything.
The UK has the HMS Montrose on station, which immediately following the seizure of the tankers was broadcasting its location and sailing through the Strait of Hormuz. The UK has another two warships on the way.
UK - Montrose
Previously, the UK's Montrose got...
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