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A Saudi teenager who fled her homeland for Thailand to escape her “abusive” family is to fly to Canada, Thai officials say.

Thailand’s immigration chief said Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun would be leaving the country on Friday after she was granted asylum in Canada.

The move comes after the 18-year-old, who will be flying from Bangkok to Seoul before taking a connecting flight to Canada, was given refugee status by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees on Wednesday.

Earlier on Friday, several countries – including Canada and Australia – were in talks with the UN’s refugee agency to accept Ms Alqunun.

The woman, who previously said her passport was seized after being stopped an airport in Bangkok on Saturday, had barricaded herself in an airport hotel room and launched a social media campaign, drawing attention from around the world.

Several Saudi women fleeing abuse by their families have tried to seek asylum abroad in recent years but have been sent back home.

Human rights campaigners say many similar cases have gone unreported.

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‘Alter your course’: Audio of moment Iranians warn UK-flagged tanker Stena Impero before seizure | World News

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New audio has been released of both the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the HMS Montrose giving instructions to a British-flagged tanker before it was “illegally” seized by Tehran.

The Revolutionary Guard can be heard telling the Stena Impero: “If you obey, you will be safe.

“Alter your course 2-3-6-0 degrees immediately, over.”

After that message, the HMS Montrose communicates with the Stena Impero, saying: “This is British warship F236.

“I reiterate, that as you are conducting transit passage in a recognised international strait, under international law your passage must not be impaired, impeded, obstructed or hampered.

“Please confirm you are conducting transit passage in a recognised international strait.”

On Sunday morning, state media in Iran confirmed that all crew members of the Stena Impero were, “safe and in good health in Bandar Abbas port.”

The British-flagged ship’s crew is made up of Indian, Latvian, Filipino and Russian members.









Iranian video of the troops taking control of the Stena Impero on Friday.

On Saturday, the UK said the seizure “constitutes illegal interference”, in a letter to the United Nations Security Council.

The Stena Impero was in Omani territorial waters and was “exercising the lawful right of transit passage in an international strait”, Britain’s UN mission wrote in the letter.



Defence secretary Penny Mordaunt MP said the Iranian seizure of the British-flagged oil tanker as a 'hostile and agressive act'







UK defence sec: ‘This was a hostile act’

The letter comes as the government is reportedly planning to impose sanctions on the Iranian regime in response to the seizure – which has been seen as a major escalation after three months of confrontation.

Latest developments:

  • Audio released of the moment Iran warns the tanker and tells it to “alter” its course.
  • Iranian state media report that the crew are all safe.
  • Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has told his Iranian counterpart he is “extremely concerned” by the seizure. He also warned there will be “serious consequences” if the tanker is not released
  • Iran’s state media has released footage showing the moment the country’s Revolutionary Guard seized the British-flagged ship
  • UK government’s emergency Cobra meeting discussed guaranteeing security of shipping
  • Stena Bulk, which operates Stena Impero, is making a formal request to visit the vessel. The company has been told its crew members are in “good health”
  • The Iran Revolutionary Guard said it managed to bring the Stena Impero to Iranian shores despite “resistance and interference” from a British warship
  • But Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt told Sky News that HMS Montrose was 60 minutes away from being able to help
  • Iranian authorities have said crew members may be interviewed by authorities on “technical matters”
  • Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for the British-flagged tanker and its crew to be released – but said all sides must show restraint as escalation risks a “deeper conflict”
  • The European Union has warned the development “brings risks of further escalation”

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is expected to use a statement in the Commons to announce diplomatic and economic measures – including potential asset freezes – according to The Telegraph.

The UK could push for the UN and the European Union to reimpose sanctions on Iran which had been lifted in 2016 following the nuclear deal.



Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt MP has been in a Cobra meeting discussing what 'further measures' will be taken







Hunt to Iran: ‘We need that ship released’

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt earlier described the seizure as a “hostile act”.

But the letter, which was also sent to UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, said Britain’s priority is to de-escalate and it does “not seek confrontation with Iran”.

However, it added, “it is unacceptable and highly escalatory to threaten shipping going about its legitimate business through internationally recognised transit corridors”.

The UK has called on Iran to release the tanker and told the Security Council it was working to resolve the issue diplomatically.



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Iranian state media released footage of the British-flagged oil tanker detained in the Strait of Hormuz by the Revolutionary Guard.

Iran suggested the seizure was in response to the UK’s role in detaining a tanker carrying Iranian oil earlier this month, despite initially saying the British-flagged tanker was held because it collided with an Iranian fishing boat.

A spokesperson for Iran’s Guardian Council said “the rule of reciprocal action is well-known in international law”.

Iranian state media earlier released footage showing the moment the Stena Impero was seized.

In the footage, armed troops wearing ski masks are seen rappelling onto the ship’s deck from a helicopter hovering overhead.

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<a href='https://news.sky.com/story/sky-views-tanker-crisis-requires-decisive-action-or-iran-will-view-uk-as-a-soft-target-11766839' target='_blank'>Tanker crisis requires decisive action or UK will be seen as soft target</a>

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<a href='https://news.sky.com/story/sky-views-tanker-crisis-requires-decisive-action-or-iran-will-view-uk-as-a-soft-target-11766839' target='_blank'>Tanker crisis requires decisive action or UK will be seen as soft target</a>

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UK officials: Iran’s seizure of British-flagged tanker ‘constitutes illegal interference’ | World News

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UK officials say Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz “constitutes illegal interference”.

The ship was in Omani territorial waters and was “exercising the lawful right of transit passage in an international strait”, Britain’s UN mission wrote in a letter to the United Nations Security Council.

The seizure of the Stena Impero by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard was seen as a major escalation after three months of confrontation.



Defence secretary Penny Mordaunt MP said the Iranian seizure of the British-flagged oil tanker as a &#39;hostile and agressive act&#39;







Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt said the Iranian seizure of the British-flagged oil tanker is a ‘hostile act’

Latest developments:

  • Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has told his Iranian counterpart he is “extremely concerned” by the seizure. He also warned there will be “serious consequences” if the tanker is not released
  • Iran’s state media has released footage showing the moment the country’s Revolutionary Guard seized the British-flagged ship
  • UK government’s emergency Cobra meeting discussed guaranteeing security of shipping
  • The UK’s Foreign Office has summoned Iran’s charge d’affaires
  • Stena Bulk, which operates Stena Impero, is making a formal request to visit the vessel. The company has been told its crew members are in “good health”
  • The Iran Revolutionary Guard said it managed to bring the Stena Impero to Iranian shores despite “resistance and interference” from a British warship
  • But Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt told Sky News that HMS Montrose was 60 minutes away from being able to help
  • Iranian authorities have said crew members may be interviewed by authorities on “technical matters”
  • Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for the British-flagged tanker and its crew to be released – but said all sides must show restraint as escalation risks a “deeper conflict”
  • France said it is “very concerned” by the seizure, and Germany described it as an “unjustifiable intrusion”
  • The European Union has warned the development “brings risks of further escalation”
  • Following the UK’s emergency Cobra meeting, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt stressed that he wants a diplomatic solution to the incident.

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt earlier described the seizure as a “hostile act”.

But the letter, which was also sent to UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, said Britain’s priority is to de-escalate and it does “not seek confrontation with Iran”.

However, it added, “it is unacceptable and highly escalatory to threaten shipping going about its legitimate business through internationally recognised transit corridors.”

The UK has called on Iran to release the tanker and told the Security Council it was working to resolve the issue diplomatically.

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