Iran claims gunboats chased Royal Navy destroyer HMS Duncan in Strait of Hormuz as tensions rise in the Gulf

IRAN has claimed gunboats chased Royal Navy destroyer HMS Duncan in the Strait of Hormuz as tensions continue to rise in the Gulf.

Iranian Revolutionary Guard officials released the short video in which it allegedly shows the Type-45 destroyer being pursued by their fast attack boats.

Video footage seemingly shows a warship sailing in the distance while a group of smaller boats follow behind at a distance.

The boats appear to be armed with machine guns.

It is unclear whether the warship in the clip is actually HMS Duncan.

One MP said “not in a thousand years” in response to the ship being the Royal Navy destroyer.


HMS Duncan has been in the Strait of Hormuz for the past few weeks amid ongoing tensions between Britain and Iran.

Type-45 destroyers have a distinctive silhouette due to their powerful orb-like SAMPSON tower radar – which is used to help fire the Sea Viper air defence missile system, reported Daily Star.

The ship being chased in the video appears to lack this feature.

James Heappey MP voiced his opinion on the matter, tweeting: “Not in a thousand years is that HMS Duncan.”

Mr Heappey, an aide to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, then posting the hashtag #IRGCFail.

Costing over £1billion per ship, the ship's vessels are equipped with missiles, a 4.5-inch naval gun, marines and can carry two helicopters.

The destroyer has been hailed as the world’s best air defence ship, and is the backbone of the Royal Navy.


It comes as Iranian ships are posing as US or British warships and interfering with the GPS of oil tankers so they can seize them, officials have warned.

A new alert has been issued to commercial ships in the Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf amid an escalating tanker row with Iran.

US officials revealed vessels have reported “spoofed bridge-to-bridge communications” from unknown ships falsely claiming to be US or coalition warships.

Tensions with Iran have reached breaking point in the past few weeks, with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard seizing three tankers in a month.

The latest warning listed a series of incidents involving Iran since May, including the seizure of the British-flagged Stena Impero on July 19.

The detention and subsequent release of the Liberian-flagged MV Mesdar – within hours of the Impero – was also mentioned.

US officials said vessels reported GPS interference during at least two recent encounters involving Iranian military forces.

One vessel reportedly shut off its Automatic Identification System (AIS) before it was seized, complicating response efforts.


The stark warning comes days after Iran seized a foreign tanker in the Gulf, in what would be the third such seizure in a month amid heightened tensions.

The "surprise attack" was near tiny Farsi Island, half way between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps claim they seized the ship because it was carrying around 700,000 litres of smuggled fuel.

Seven foreign crew members were arrested in the operation carried out last Wednesday night, said Fars news agency, which is considered close to the Guards.

Tensions between arch-enemies Iran and the US have soared this year after Washington stepped up its campaign of "maximum pressure" against Tehran.


Ships have been attacked, drones downed and oil tankers seized since May, a year after the US withdrew from a landmark nuclear deal between Iran.

At the height of the crisis, US President Donald Trump called off air strikes against Iran at the last minute in June after the Islamic republic's forces shot down a US drone.

Boris Johnson ordered the Royal Navy to accompany all British-flagged vessels through the Strait of Hormuz in an escalation of the Iran crisis.

The seizure of the latest tanker would be the third by Iran in less than a month in Gulf waters – a conduit for much of the world's crude oil.

On July 18, the Guards said they had detained the Panama-flagged for MT Riah for alleged fuel smuggling.

And a day later, they announced they had impounded the British-flagged Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz for breaking "international maritime rules".

The seizure of the Stena Impero came two weeks after Royal Marines seized a supertanker believed to be carrying Iranian crude oil to Syria on July 4.


The oil tanker Grace 1 was detained on suspicion it was breaking European sanctions by taking oil to Syria.

Three Iranian boats also tried to seize a BP oil tanker as it passed through the Strait of Hormuz on Wednesday July 10.

Royal Navy frigate HMS Montrose – which was escorting the tanker through the flashpoint region – was forced to sail in front of the boats.

After quickly training its 30mm deck guns on the enemy boats, deploying its Wildcat helicopter and issuing a radio warning, the Iranian boats scarpered.

Recent US and Iran tensions

  • May 5: USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and a bomber task force is deployed in Middle East in response to 'a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings' by Iran.
  • May 8: Iran vows to enrich its uranium stockpile if world powers fail to negotiate new terms for its nuclear deal. The US responds by imposing sanctions on Iran's metals industry.
  • May 10: The US says it will move a Patriot missile battery into the Middle East to counter threats from Iran.
  • May 24: President Trump says the US will bolster its military presence in the Middle East with an additional 1,500 troops.
  • May 12: The UAE says four commercial ships off its eastern coast "were subjected to sabotage operations," just hours after Iranian and Lebanese media outlets air false reports of explosions at a nearby Emirati port.
  • June 13: Two oil tankers are attacked in the Gulf of Oman – Washington blames Iran while Tehran denies involvement.
  • June 18: US sends more than 1,000 additional troops to Middle East citing Iran's 'hostile behaviour'.
  • July 19: Trump said a US warship had destroyed an Iranian drone that came too close – but Iran has denied losing a drone.
  • June 20: Iran shoots down American 'spy' drone insisting the aircraft had flown over its airspace – a claim the US denied.
  • June 24: Trump imposes additional sanctions on Iranian leaders, including on Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
  • July 3: Iran confirmed its threat to increase uranuium enrichment after Europe failed to respond to requests to ease financial pressure on Iran.
  • July 19: Iran seized a UK-flagged oil tanker in strategic waters.
  • July 20: The Pentagon said US troops are being deployed to Saudia Arabia to defend American interests from "emergent credible threats", amid heightened tensions over the safety of shipping lanes in the Gulf.
  • July 22: Iran says it has arrested 17 spies who it claims were working for the CIA, and sentenced some of them to death.


HMS Duncan was then deployed to patrol the busy shipping lane as all UK flagged vessels were put on the highest security alert level.

But an Iranian bomb boat was found in its path, meaning the HMS Duncan could have been destroyed by the unmanned attack ship packed with explosives, the Mirror reports.

Iran had earlier been blamed for a series of devastating sea mine attacks on US-linked oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz.

The Iranian republic has been squaring up to the West as it reels over the scrapping of the so-called nuclear deal by the US.

Iran today unveiled its latest upgraded missile defence system which it brags can detect enemy missiles and drones from more than 250 miles away.

The mobile Falaq radar installation is said to be an upgraded version of the current Gamma system, which military experts said was of Russian origin.

The announcement comes at a time of rising tension between the Islamic republic and the United States.

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