LONDON (Reuters) - Britain said on Friday it would deploy the destroyer HMS Duncan warship to the Gulf to replace HMS Montrose, maintaining a continuous presence there during a time of heightened tension in the region.
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."
(Reporting by Kate Holton)
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