Accordingly, during a meeting with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rouhani highlighted
Security for security, peace for peace, strait for strait. The Strait of Hormuz cannot be opened for you [the United Kingdom] while Gibraltar is closed to us.
He continued that Hormuz cannot be open for the UK, when in the meantime Gibraltar is closed for Iranian vessels.
Overall, the tension in the Strait of Hormuz spiked when the US withdrew from the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), re-imposing nuclear-related sanctions, the US ended waivers that had allowed some mainly Asian importers to continue buying Iranian crude.
Then, the Strait of Hormuz experienced an increased tension for months now. It first started when the UK arrested the Indian Captain and Chief Officer of the Iranian tanker 'Grace 1', a few days after the ship was seized suspected of breaching EU sanctions by shipping oil to Syria. Later on, what is said to be an act of retaliation, was when Iran seized Stena Impero. Yet, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard seized another foreign vessel, supporting that it was transmitting 700,000 litres of oil to 'some Arab countries in the Persian Gulf.'