LONDON, July 12 (KUNA) -- The UK has sent a second warship to the Arabian Gulf in order to promote maritime security amid accusations that Iran tried to impede a British oil tanker in the Gulf
HMS Duncan is currently in the Mediterranean and is expected to join HMS Montrose in the region next week, the UK Ministry of Defence said in a statement carried by BBC.
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.
"This will ensure that the UK, alongside international partners, can continue to support freedom of navigation for vessels transiting through this vital shipping lane," she said.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the UK wanted to "de-escalate the situation" but had "a responsibility to protect British shipping".
The UK government said on Thursday that Iranian Revolutionary Guard's boats tried to impede a British oil tanker in the Gulf on Wednesday.
Iran has reiterated calls for the UK to release an Iranian-owned oil tanker that was detained by Royal Marines in Gibraltar last week.
The relationship between the UK and Iran has become increasingly strained in recent weeks. (end)