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Tehran, Jul 11 Iran’s Revolutionary Guards denied on Thursday that they had impeded a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, the force’s Sepah news agency said.

“There has been no confrontation in the last 24 hours with any foreign vessels, including British ones,” the Revolutionary Guards said in a statement.

Britain said Thursday three Iranian boats had attempted to “impede the passage” of a British oil tanker in Gulf waters, forcing UK warship HMS Montrose to intervene.

The Guards’ statement said that if they were ordered to seize foreign vessels they would do so “immediately, decisively and speedily.” The incident follows the detention of an Iranian oil tanker by Britain on July 4 off the coast of Gibraltar, a tiny British overseas territory on Spain’s southern tip.

The 330 metre (1,000 feet) Grace 1 tanker, capable of carrying two million barrels of oil, was halted by police and customs in Gibraltar with the aid of a detachment of British Royal Marines.

Iran condemned the detention as an “illegal interception,” but Gibraltar officials said that the cargo was believed to be destined for Syria, which is subject to European sanctions.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned Britain on Wednesday of the “consequences” of what he described as “a foolish act”.

“I point out to the British that you initiated insecurity (on the seas) and you shall grasp the consequences of it later on,” Rouhani said in comments to the cabinet broadcast by state TV.

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