A global ship tracking intelligence service showed how the tanker “took a dramatic turn to the north while passing through the Strait of Hormuz,” writes The Mail Online.
By World Israel News Staff
Did Iran’s intelligence use “Russian spy technology to lure a British tanker into dangerous waters in the Gulf?”
That’s a question being “urgently” investigated by Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and MI6 intelligence agencies after Iran’s Revolutionary Guard seized a U.K.-registered oil tanker on Friday, reports the Daily Record.
The fear is that the spy technology can “spoof” GPS signals, according to British media reports.
“It means the tanker – which is managed by Clydebank-based Northern Marine – may have thought it was a safe distance from Iranian waters while wandering into a Tehran trap, out of reach of Royal Navy warships,” writes the Daily Record.
A Live Ships Map of MarineTraffic, a global ship tracking intelligence service, is said to have shown how the tanker “took a dramatic turn to the north while passing through the Strait of Hormuz,” writes The Mail Online.
Iran’s foreign minister said Monday that his country had seized the British-flagged tanker, the Stena Impero, because it was violating “international law on safe passage” in the strait.
Speaking during a visit to Nicaragua, Mohammad Javad Zarif said the British ship had “turned off its signaling” for longer than is allowed, and “was passing through the wrong channels.”
However, U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt called the seizure of the tanker and its 23-member crew “an act of state piracy.”
Britain announced that it would be joining with European allies to form a “maritime protection mission” in the Strait of Hormuz in the aftermath of the Iranian seizure in the busy waterway.
Hunt gave no details of the new mission, but said Britain would “take appropriate action to support the safe passage of vessels through the Strait of Hormuz.”
He stressed that Britain’s moves were not part of the U.S. policy of “maximum pressure” on Iran. European nations still adhere to the 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran, from which Washington withdrew in 2018.
Associated Press contributed to this report.