The First Sea Lord Admiral Radakin inspecting the Ceremonial Guard (Picture: Royal Navy).
Iran

First Sea Lord: Shipping Still Under Threat In Iran

Royal Navy chief Admiral Tony Radakin remains committed to a naval presence in the region.

The First Sea Lord Admiral Radakin inspecting the Ceremonial Guard (Picture: Royal Navy).

Iran continues to pose a threat to merchant shipping in the Gulf, the First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin has said during a visit to the region. 

The Royal Navy chief addressed enduring tensions in the waters, which boiled with hostility during the summer. 

In July, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard seized a British tanker – the Stenna Impero - a move labelled as "aggressive" and "outrageous" by Admiral Radakin, during an interview with the BBC. 

The vessel since been released, but British warships continue to patrol the Strait of Hormuz as part of a US-led task force.

The security mission involves working with the US in accompanying merchant shipping through the passage.

While the UK is committed to a de-escalation of tensions in the region, it will continue to maintain a high military presence in the Gulf.

France is also setting up a European maritime patrol mission in the Gulf, but Britain says it will continue to work with the US - despite concerns about the Trump administration’s more confrontational policy towards Iran.

Admiral Radakin also highlighted concerns about increased Russian submarine activity in the North Atlantic, saying that its underwater activity there is at a 30-year high - posing a detection threat to British nuclear submarines.

In the light of the General Election win for Boris Johnson's Conservative Party, Admiral Radakin also commented on the potential for a reshaping of the Armed Forces in a defence review.

Setting the Royal Navy's goal of tackling new threats from space and cyber, which would require further investment into the service, the First Sea Lord called on the government to first evaluate the threats.

"That may mean we have to adjust the shape and size of the armed forces to enable that new investment, or it might mean we need to invest more," he said.

Cover image: The First Sea Lord Admiral Radakin inspecting the Ceremonial Guard (Picture: Royal Navy).