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Iran has warned the United Kingdom against escalating tensions between the two countries in the wake of its seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker – an act the UK government has called “hostile”.

Britain has rejected Tehran’s explanation that it seized the Stena Impero on Friday because it had been involved in an accident, and told its ships to avoid the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil passageway.

The “UK government should contain those domestic political forces who want to escalate existing tension between Iran and the UK well beyond the issue of ships. This is quite dangerous and unwise at a sensitive time in the region,” Hamid Baeidinejad, Iran’s envoy to Britain, wrote on Twitter.