Britain's foreign secretary said Iranian officials seized two ships Friday in the Strait of Hormuz.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said one of the seized ships sailed under a British flag and the other sailed under Liberia's flag.
Iran's semi-official Fars news agency said later that the second ship had left Iran's territorial waters.
These seizures are unacceptable, Hunt said. He then entered a government meeting to discuss how to gain the release of the ships and their crews.
There are few details about what happened. Iran said earlier Friday that it had seized an oil ship named Impero Stena and was holding it at an Iranian port. It said the Stena had not followed international maritime laws.
The ship's owner, company Stena Bulk, said it was unable to contact the ship after unidentified boats and a helicopter move toward it in the Strait of Hormuz.
The company said the ship carried 23 crew members and was in international waters at the time.
Britain's Chamber of Shipping leader Bob Sanguinetti said the seizure represented an increase in tensions in the Persian Gulf. He said the act made clear that more protection for trade vessels was urgently needed.
He said the seizure violated international rules about behavior in international waters. The British government should do whatever is necessary to gain the safe and quick return of the ship's crew, Sanguinetti added.
The incident came one day after American officials announced that a U.S. warship downed an Iranian drone in the Strait. Iran has denied it lost an aircraft in the area.
In Tehran, the Iranian military said all its drones had returned safely to their bases. It also suggested that the United States might have shot down one its own drones.
On June 20, Iran shot down an American drone in the same waterway. U.S. president Donald Trump came close to answering the move with an airstrike but canceled it.
I'm Caty Weaver.
1. territorial waters 领海
The Kingdom of Norway is a Nordic country on the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, bordering Sweden, Finland and Russia, with territorial waters bordering Danish and British waters.
2. down vt. 把……击落/打倒
O’Malley downed his opponent in the first round.
亨特表示，这种扣押行为是不可接受的 。随后，亨特参加了一次政府会议，讨论了如何争取船只和船员得到释放的问题 。
当时情况的细节不得而知 。伊朗方面周五早上表示其扣押了一艘名叫史丹纳帝国的油船，将其留在了某伊朗港口处 。伊朗表示，史丹纳帝国油船没有遵守国际海事法 。
该油船为Stena Bulk所有，该公司表示其无法联系上这只船，自从数只不知名船只和一架直升飞机在霍尔木兹海峡上向其移动后就联系不上了 。
英国航运公会首席执行官鲍勃表示，这次扣押表明波斯湾地区局势愈发剑拔弩张 。他表示，此举清晰地表明——亟需加大力度保护商船 。
他表示，这次扣押违背了国际社会关于公共水域上的行为要求 。英国政府会极尽所能让船员们能够迅速安全地回国，鲍勃如是说道 。
在首都德黑兰，伊朗军方表示所有无人机已平安返回基地 。伊朗还表示，美国可能击落的是自己的无人机 。
6月20日，伊朗在同一片航道击落了一架美国无人机 。美国总统特朗普本来快要以空袭方式反击了，但最后一刻却取消了行动 。
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