A second U.K. navy vessel arrived in the Persian Gulf to escort commercial ships through the Strait of Hormuz after a British oil tanker was seized by Tehran last week, London announced on Sunday.
The U.K.'s National Defense Ministry said in a statement that the HMS Duncan joined the HMS Montrose to "support the safe passage of British-flagged ships through the Strait of Hormuz."
"The Type 45 Destroyer, HMS Duncan, will work with the Type 23 Frigate HMS Montrose until she comes off duty in late August, ensuring the continuous availability of ships to accompany merchant vessels," the statement said.
London had announced on Thursday that the country's Royal Navy would escort British-flagged vessels through the critical waterway from which the lion's share of the region's hydrocarbons pass en route to the East Asia.
It had previously asked all tankers and other vessels sailing under the country's flag to avoid passing through the strait for an "interim period".
London denounced the Iranian seizure of the oil tanker as a "hostile act" following the incident, which the U.K. claims happened in Omani waters.
Earlier this month, U.K. navy forces boarded a Syria-bound Iranian oil tanker off Gibraltar -- a British overseas territory -- after which Tehran threatened retaliatory action.
By Zehra Nur Duz