The Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that the seizure by Iran of the British flagged vessel Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz risks further escalating tension in the region and called for the release of the vessel and crew.
In a message on Twitter, the Foreign Ministry said the seizure risks further escalating the tense situation in the region and negatively impacting security and stability.
“Cyprus condemns all actions that violate international maritime law,” it added.
The seizure by Iran of British-flagged vessel #StenaImpero in #StraitOfHormuz risks further escalating tense situation in region & negatively impacting #security & #stability.#Cyprus condemns all actions that violate international maritime law & calls for release of vessel & crew
— Cyprus MFA (@CyprusMFA) July 24, 2019
Tensions have spiked between Iran and Britain since the Islamic Republic last Friday seized the tanker, Stena Impero, saying it had collided with a fishing vessel. Stena Bulk has said it has received no evidence of such a collision.
Britain has described the seizure as piracy and called on Monday for a European-led naval mission to ensure safe shipping through the Strait, a strategic waterway for oil transportation.
Britain welcomed Cyprus’ ‘clear message’ about the need to de-escalate the situation and respect international norms on freedom of navigation.
British High Commission welcomes clear message by #Cyprus government about #StenaImpero and need to de-escalate situation and respect international norms on freedom of navigation #StraitOfHormuz https://t.co/9nosbHhWwW
— UK in Cyprus (@UKinCyprus) July 24, 2019