A British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero which was seized by Iran's Revolutionary Guard on Friday is photographed in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, Saturday, July 20, 2019. Oman on Sunday called on Iran and Britain to use diplomacy to resolve a worsening row over oil tankers that have been seized by the two countries. File photo: Tasnim News Agency/via AP.

Cairo - Oman on Sunday called on Iran and Britain to use diplomacy to resolve a worsening row over oil tankers that have been seized by the two countries.

The Omani Foreign Ministry said the Gulf country was in contact with all parties to secure safe passage for ships through the vital Strait of Hormuz.

"The Sultanate [of Oman] looks forward to Iran's release of the British ship and calls on the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United Kingdom to solve their differences through diplomatic ways," the ministry said in a Twitter statement.

Unlike other Gulf countries, Oman maintains warm ties with Iran, which is also locked in heightened tensions with the United States.

On Friday, Iran stopped the Britain-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero and escorted it to the port of Bandar Abbas, where it will stay pending an investigation, according to Iranian media.

The confrontation between Britain and Iran began earlier this month when the Iranian oil carrier Grace 1 was impounded off the British territory of Gibraltar for allegedly violating EU sanctions against Syria.

Britain later accused Iran of harassing a British ship in the Gulf.

dpa