The decision to provide a military escort to merchant shipping follows a meeting of Downing Street's emergency Cobra committee to discuss the situation in the Gulf.
About sharing image copyrightReuters The UK government has said it will provide a Royal Navy escort for British-flagged ships passing through the Strait of Hormuz - amid increasing diplomatic tensions in the Gulf. Shipping firm Stena Bulk said its 23 crew members - who are Indian, Russian, Latvian and Filipino - had been able to talk directly to tehrann families for a limited time.
Stena Bulk has said it is discussing the release of the tanker and has asked "local authorities" for access to the vessel. The ship's owner said the crew is safe and co-operating with officials.
Ship owners are being advised to give details of their route so they can be escorted by the escorts northfield HMS Montrose. Iran denied the incident happened and said there had been no confrontation with any foreign vessels. The UK Chamber terhan Shipping said it welcomed the government's decision, calling the announcement "an encouraging step".