Senior MP says military strike on Iran 'unwise'

Teluk Persia Kembali Memanas, Iran Tahan Dua Tanker Minyak Inggris

The chairman of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee says military action to free the oil tanker seized by Iran would not be a good choice.

Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat said Saturday it would be "extremely unwise" to seek a military solution to the escalating crisis, especially because the vessel has apparently been taken to a well-protected port.

"If it has been taken to Bandar Abbas then that's an important Iranian military port and I think any military options will therefore be extremely unwise," he told BBC.

He also said it would not be useful to expel Iran's ambassador to the United Kingdom because it is important to keep talking.

Other senior British figures have said military options should not be used.

Iran's state-run IRNA news agency is reporting that the country's seizure of British-flagged oil tanker a day earlier was due to a collision with an Iranian fishing boat.

Guardianes de la Revolución de Irán, en lanchas motoras durante un acto en el puerto de Bandar Abbas, el 2 de julio de 2012

Saturday's report says the British tanker caused damage to the fishing boat, then didn't respond to calls from the smaller craft.

The fishing boat informed Iran's Ports and Maritime Organisation, which notified the Revolutionary Guard.

The report says Revolutionary Guard vessels directed the Stena Impero to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas for an investigation Friday.

Iran's attempt to offer a "technical" explanation for seizing the tanker could signal a possible de-escalation of tensions in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, which has become a flashpoint between Tehran and the West.

Another British ship was briefly detained by Iran on Friday before being allowed to go.

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