Jeremy Hunt Iran press conference

MaxMorgan23 Jul 22nd, 2019 70 Never
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  1.     Today, British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt gave a press conference in the House of Commons regarding the Iranian seizure of the British oil tanker, the Stena Impero. Hunt began the pressor by making it clear that the ship was in its correct shipping lane and was in Omani territorial waters when it was seized by the IRGC in a move that Hunt called, “State Piracy” due to Iran’s illegal boarding and seizure. Hunt went on to condemn the incident as a “breach in the international policy of freedom of navigation on which the world economy depends.” He then urged Iran to release the ship and continue to follow international shipping policy. Later in the press conference, Hunt called the seizure a tit for tat in response for Gibraltar officials Seizing the Iranian tanker the Grace 1 which was breaking EU sanctions by providing oil to Syria. He described the seizure of the Grace 1 as enforcing EU sanctions while the seizure of the Stena Impero was unjust and uncalled for response. Hunt promised that the UK would release the Grace 1  If they were assured by Iran that it would not be used against EU sanctions, but Iran chose to escalate tensions. Hunt then announced that he had spoken with the Foreign Ministers of Oman. France, Germany, Italy, Finland, Spain, and Denmark while also speaking to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo along with lodging a formal protest to the Iranian ambassador to the UK. Hunt announced that the UK will raise the security level for British flagged shipping in the region. Secondly, the UK will seek to create an EU lead Maritime  Shipping protection while working with the US and its allies against Iran. The UK will not join the US “maximum pressure against Iran to try to save the JCPOA.” Thirdly the UK has dispatched the HMS Duncan a type 45 destroyer to the region which will arrive on July 29th to replace the HMS Montrose in escorting British tankers. Fourthly, the UK requests that all British flagged ships to notify the government when they intend to pass through the straight so they can be told the safest way to travel or be recommended to travel on convoys for further protection. 1,300 ships appear under British protection and 2 a day pass through the straight. HMS Montrose has escorted 30 vessels through the Straight in 17 transits traveling 4,000 Nautical miles. Hunt then asked shipping companies to follow the Department of transportation requests to ensure the safety of ships under the British flag. The UK will increase its presence in the Gulf to ensure protection against piracy, but our focus is on deescalating tensions with Iran, we do not seek confrontation with Iran but Will ensure international law is followed and will increase its military presence if Iran continues hostilities. “Freedom of Navigation is a principal that the UK and her allies will protect,” Hunt answered a question in which he stated that the Iranian Foreign minister holds no true power but does the talking while the IRGC is kept quiet but is in real control. Hunt hammered down his point that Iran will not go unpunished for this but de-escalation is the goal. Hunt condemned Iranian attempts to destabilize Bahrain along with many other Middle Eastern nations, such as Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. Iran must end its support of the Houthis in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon while it must also end the terroristic ways of the IRGC. Hunt also pointed out that the US and UK have different ways of dealing with Iran but both fully support each other. “Diplomacy thus far has failed and we are working hard so diplomacy can fix this problem.” Hunt did not address the calls from both party members and opposition members in calls for strengthening the Royal Navy but did say that the UK is committed to the Iran deal even without the USA.
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