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The Latest: Britain to join US-led ship security mission

August 5, 2019
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FILE - In this In this July 21, 2019 file photo, a speedboat of Iran's Revolutionary Guard trains a weapon toward the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero, which was seized in the Strait of Hormuz on July 19 by the Guard, in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. Iranian forces seized a ship in the Persian Gulf suspected of carrying smuggled fuel, state media reported Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, marking the Revolutionary Guard's third seizure of a vessel in recent weeks and the latest show of strength by the paramilitary force amid a spike in regional tensions. State TV and the semi-official Fars news agency reported that seven crew members were detained when the latest ship was seized late Wednesday. (Morteza Akhoondi/Tasnim News Agency via AP, File)
1 of 6
FILE - In this In this July 21, 2019 file photo, a speedboat of Iran's Revolutionary Guard trains a weapon toward the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero, which was seized in the Strait of Hormuz on July 19 by the Guard, in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. Iranian forces seized a ship in the Persian Gulf suspected of carrying smuggled fuel, state media reported Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, marking the Revolutionary Guard's third seizure of a vessel in recent weeks and the latest show of strength by the paramilitary force amid a spike in regional tensions. State TV and the semi-official Fars news agency reported that seven crew members were detained when the latest ship was seized late Wednesday. (Morteza Akhoondi/Tasnim News Agency via AP, File)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The Latest on tensions in the Persian Gulf (all times local):

5:25 p.m.

Britain says it will work with the United States in a “new international maritime security mission” to protect merchant shipping in the Strait of Hormuz.

The Ministry of Defense said Monday that Royal Navy vessels will work alongside the U.S. Navy to escort vessels through the busy strait, which has become a flashpoint for tensions between Iran and the West.

The U.S. has been asking its allies to take part in a naval mission to protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, though European nations have been reluctant.

Britain has been giving U.K.-flagged vessels a naval escort since Iran’s Revolutionary Guard seized a British oil tanker last month.

Britain has two Royal Navy vessels in the region, the frigate HMS Montrose and the destroyer HMS Duncan. The Montrose is due to leave for repairs later this month.

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11:00 a.m.

Iran’s foreign minister has lambasted the recent U.S. sanctions against him, calling the move a “failure” for diplomacy.

Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters in Tehran on Monday that “imposing sanctions against a foreign minister means failure” for any efforts at negotiations. It also means the side imposing the measures is “opposing talks.”

The U.S. administration last week announced sanctions on Zarif, a month after President Donald Trump imposed similar sanctions on Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The move is seen as part of Washington’s escalating campaign of what Trump calls “maximum pressure” on the Islamic Republic.

The U.S has increasingly deployed military to the region as tensions have been on the rise since Trump’s withdrawal last year from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

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