The US State Department condemned Iran over its alleged «attempt to unlawfully harass and interfere with the passage of the UK flagged merchant vessel British Heritage yesterday near the Strait of Hormuz» at a press conference from spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus in Washington DC on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Iranian boats reportedly tried to impede a British oil tanker in the region, before being driven... Еще off by a Royal Navy ship. Following this incident, the UK has raised the threat to British shipping in Iranian waters in the Gulf to «critical» level as regional tensions continue to simmer following US's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018.
Ortagus was, however, at pains to point reiterate Washington's position that it would enter talks with Iran «without preconditions».
The press briefing also featured Sam Brownback, US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom who announced the plans for the Second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom.
Brownback said: «This world has not paid enough attention to what's taking place here and the plight of so many people that have been injured. Over 70 per cent of the world lives in a religious restrictive environment. In many cases unfortunately a deadly environment. So we hope to really push back and start this grassroots movement seriously to push back against it.»
The second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom will be hosted by the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and will run from July 16-18. It aims to reaffirm international commitments to promote religious freedom for all and provide a voice to survivors of human rights abuses.