UK to send third warship to Gulf, says ‘escalation not in anyone’s interest’

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Britain will send a third warship and a navy tanker to the Gulf but the move is not related to the Iran crisis, according to the Ministry of Defence.

The Ministry of Defence said HMS Duncan, a type 45 frigate, is transiting to the region to ensure Britain maintains a continuous maritime security presence while HMS Montrose, a type 23 frigate, undertakes planned maintenance.

Later in the year, HMS Kent, another type 23 frigate, will deploy to the region, taking over from HMS Duncan.

It said that support ship RFA Wave Knight will deploy to the Gulf at the start of August.

"These long-planned movements do not reflect an escalation in the UK posture in the region and are routine," the MoD added.

Earlier, British Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman said that an escalation of tensions between Western states and Iran is not in anybody’s interest, following threats of retaliation from Iran over the seizure of an oil tanker.

“We have been consistent: Escalation in the Gulf is not in anyone’s interests and we have repeatedly stressed that to the Iranians,” the spokesman said.

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei previously said Iran would respond to Britain’s “piracy” over the seizure in early July of an Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar.

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