“Deep turmoil” / In the Persian Gulf area/ had an initial point which has been an option of UK government : the Iranian ship detained by Royal Navy in Gibraltar, so to say UK being self-involved in an international issue which Royal Navy does not have the capacity to solve by itself. We have to guess : that act was done in order to support ( even mutually agreed ) the Iran offensive line of Trump administration – constant and increased pressure- or to provoke Tehran to react and to escalate the tension in the Persian Gulf ?
Of course, I have tried in such a way ( read also the footnote ) to bring the readers to evaluate themselves if there was an understanding between London and Washington to launch a new phase of the crisis putting more pressure on Tehran and also attempting to associate European Union- London legitimized the arrest of the Iranian ship with the argument that , transporting oil to Syrian Assad regime, it contradicts the sanctions of EU. I have behaved like that because I have no documentary evidence in that regard although I have been inclined to believe such logic of events.
Now we have that documentary evidence:
„ In May/2019-o.n./ , the leading British general in the anti-ISIS coalition in Iraq disputed White House claims of an increased Iranian threat. But the foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, sided with Washington against his own military officer on the ground. Unlike its European partners, Britain joined the US in swiftly blaming Iran for the subsequent attacks on Gulf shipping. And when Washington urged London to seize an Iranian oil tanker off the coast of Gibraltar this month, the British obliged.
London says that the tanker was taking Iranian oil to Syria in defiance of EU sanctions. Other European capitals were unimpressed by the claim, and Tehran flatly denied it, accusing the UK of piracy and threatening to impound a British tanker in response. It failed in its first attempt, prompting Hunt to announce that the UK would send an additional destroyer to bulk up the Royal Navy’s presence in the Gulf, but appears to have succeeded in its second attempt last Friday. By acceding to Washington’s demands to seize the Iranian tanker off Gibraltar, London has accelerated the drive to a war it does not want.
If Britain has been weak so far, it is set to get weaker still. The economic fallout from a no deal Brexit will leave Britain on its knees and – in its desperation for a trade deal with the US – even less willing or able to resist Washington’s demands.” ( our bolds )
For more details I invite the readers to access the article with the title: The British Obliged, published by David Wearing on the blog of the prestigious British review „ London Review of Books” on July 22, 2019 (https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2019/july/the-british-obliged?utm_source=LRB+blog+email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20190730+blog&utm_content=ukrw_nonsubs_blog)