Britain said on Friday July 12th it would utilise the destroyer HMS Duncan to the Gulf to replace HMS Montrose, to maintain a constant presence there during a time of increased tension in the region, Reuters reported.
Relations between Tehran and the West have been increasingly strained after Britain seized an Iranian tanker in Gibraltar, and London said HMS Montrose had to fend off Iranian vessels which sought to block a British-owned tanker passing through the Strait of Hormuz.
"As part of our long standing presence in the Gulf, HMS Duncan is deploying to the region to ensure we maintain a continuous maritime security presence, while HMS Montrose comes off task for pre-planned maintenance and crew change over," the government said.
"This will ensure that the UK, alongside international partners, can continue to support freedom of navigation for vessels transiting through this vital shipping."
UK Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt told Sky News that this move came as a reaction to what is happening, and “we make it clear to Iran that we are not seeking to escalate this situation."