Iran has accused the UK of being “servants of the United States” as Tehran demanded the return of the oil tanker seized off Gibraltar earlier this month.
It’s been suggested British Royal Marines boarded the vessel at the request of Washington.
And the UK is looking at boosting its military presence in the Gulf after an apparent close encounter with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards just days later.
Meanwhile, the US is turning the screw further on Iran’s already faltering economy, and Britain finds itself in an awkward position.
It’s working with Europe to try and save the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which the US abandoned. But it also needs to maintain close ties with Washington as it seeks to leave the European Union.
The situation with the oil tanker has infuriated Iran and its foreign minister demanded Britain return the ship or face what “consequences”.