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An oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. Photo: Getty Images

Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps said it seized a U.K. tanker in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday, the BBC reports.

The latest: Jeremy Hunt, the U.K. foreign secretary, said in a statement on Friday that Iran also seized a second vessel. The second tanker is Liberian-flagged but U.K. owned, according to the BBC. These are the latest in a series of escalatory events in the narrow waterway through which 20% of the world's oil supply flows.

  • Iran disputed the account of the second vessel seizure, and the ship's manager later explained in a statement that the ship had been boarded, but allowed to continue on, according to Fars, Iran's semiofficial news organization.

The big picture: Two weeks ago off Gibraltar, British marines "stormed an Iranian ship believed to have been carrying oil to Syria" in violation of EU sanctions, per CNN.

  • Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, vowed to retaliate. Days later, on July 10, a British warship intervened after Iranian vessels reportedly attempted to divert a U.K. tanker in the strait.
  • Yesterday, President Trump said the U.S. had "destroyed" an Iranian drone that came within a threatening distance of U.S. warship. Iran denies that.
  • The U.S. has been attempting to shape an international response to ensure maritime security near the strait.
  • The recent events come as Trump's "maximum pressure" strategy has blocked most Iranian oil exports, a step Tehran refers to as "economic warfare."

Details on today's incident, via the BBC:

  • "The owners of the tanker, named the Stena Impero and bound for Saudi Arabia, say they have been unable to contact the vessel and it is 'heading north towards Iran.'"
  • "The company says there are 23 personnel on board, and it was approached by 'unidentified small crafts and a helicopter'" in the strait.
  • "The Foreign Office says it is 'urgently' looking into the reports."

Garrett Marquis, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said in a statement: "this is the second time in just over a week that the U.K. has been the target of escalatory violence by the Iranian regime. The U.S. will continue to work with our allies and partners to defend our security and interests against Iran's malign behavior."

Go deeper: Finding a way off the U.S.-Iran ledge.

Go deeper

Scoop: Trump-backed Perdue says he wouldn’t have certified Georgia 2020 results

Perdue at a December 2020 campaign event in Columbus, Ga. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue wouldn’t have signed the certification of the state’s 2020 election results if he had been governor at the time, the former Senate Republican told Axios.

  • “Not with the information that was available at the time and not with the information that has come out now. They had plenty of time to investigate this. And I wouldn’t have signed it until those things had been investigated and that’s all we were asking for," he said.

Why it matters: There has been no evidence widespread fraud took place in Georgia's elections last year and the November results were counted three times, once by hand.

Beijing Olympics: These countries have announced diplomatic boycotts

Photo: Zhang Qiang/VCG via Getty Images

Several countries, including Canada and Australia, have announced they will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest human rights abuses committed by China's government.

Driving the news: Leaders have faced pressure from human rights groups and others to boycott the Games, pointing to the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang region and other abuses.

Biden directs federal government to become carbon neutral by 2050

President Biden speaking to reporters outside of the White House on Dec. 8.

President Biden signed an executive order Wednesday that requires the federal government achieve multiple goals related to reducing its carbon emissions, including achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Why it matters: Meeting the objectives of the order would require a massive investment by the federal government to buy electric vehicles, upgrade buildings and change how it procures electricity.