Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has said that its forces have captured a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz for allegedly violating international maritime rules. According to the IRGC's official website, the UK flagged, Stena Impero tanker was confiscated at the request of Hormozgan Ports and Maritime Organisation.

It said, the tanker was led to the shore and handed over to the organisation to go through the legal procedure and required investigations.

The Stena Impero's owners say they have been unable to contact their vessel, which had 23 personnel on board.

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said there will be serious consequences if Iran does not release the British-flagged tanker. He said the seizures were completely unacceptable and freedom of navigation must be maintained.

Meanwhile, a second British-owned Liberian-flagged tanker was boarded by armed guards but is now free to continue its journey. The Mesdar's Glasgow-based operator Norbulk Shipping UK said communication had been re-established with the vessel after it was boarded by armed guards on Friday. He said its crew was safe and well.

The developments come amid heightened tensions between the UK, the US, and Iran.

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