UK-flagged tanker reported ‘safe and well’ after stop in Gulf

UK-flagged tanker reported 'safe and well' after stop in Gulf
UK-flagged tanker reported 'safe and well' after stop in Gulf

The UK-flagged supertanker Pacific Voyager that halted in the Gulf on Saturday is "safe and well," a British official told Reuters, after Iran dismissed reports its Revolutionary Guards had seized the vessel.

A RevolutionaryGuards commander on Friday had threatened to seize a British ship inretaliation for the capture by Royal Marines of Iranian supertanker Grace 1 inGibraltar.

The Pacific Voyager stopped in the Gulf en route to Saudi Arabia from Singapore, before resuming its course, Refinitiv Eikon mapping showed.

It stopped as partof a routine procedure to adjust its arrival time at its next port, an officialat UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) told Reuters. UKMTO, which coordinatesshipping in the Gulf, had been in contact with the tanker, the official said.

On Saturday an Iranian cleric said Britain should be "scared" about Tehran's possible retaliation for the seizure of the Grace 1, the Fars semi-official news agency reported.

"I am openlysaying that Britain should be scared of Iran's retaliatory measures over theillegal seizure of the Iranian oil tanker," said Mohammad Ali MousaviJazayeri, a member of the Assembly of Experts clerical body.

U.S. PresidentDonald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May discussed ways to maintainpressure on Iran during a phone call on Friday, the White House said in astatement on Saturday.

The statement,which did not mention the tanker incident, said: "They discussedcooperation … to advance shared national security interests, includingefforts to enforce sanctions on Syria, to ensure that Iran does not obtain anuclear weapon, and to achieve the final, fully verified denuclearization ofNorth Korea."

Washington's envoyfor North Korea, Stephen Biegun, is headed to hold talks with Europeanofficials in Brussels and Berlin this week, the State Department said onSaturday, after Trump's recent meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inthe Demilitarized Zone at Panmunjom where they agreed to resume stalled nucleartalks.

Tensions are highin the Gulf following last month's attacks on vessels near the Strait ofHormuz, a vital oil shipping route, and Iran's downing of a U.S. drone.Washington and Saudi Arabia have directly blamed Iran for the attacks ontankers, something Tehran denies.The attacks have raised fears of a broader confrontation in the regionwhere the United States has boosted its military presence over perceivedIranian threats

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