British drones could be deployed to Gulf - media
London is considering sending drones to the Gulf as the crisis with Iran continues, Commodore Dean Bassett said.
"The direct threat to those British merchant vessels still stands. We've seen nothing to suggest that Iran is going to abide by its international obligations," Sky News cited Bassett as saying.
And he wouldn't rule out the use of military force if necessary, saying: "While we call on Iran to abide by its international obligations, the Royal Navy - my sailors, my Marines and the ships under my command - are absolutely ready to protect and defend British merchant vessels in this theatre."
It was noted that the unmanned aircraft would help with overhead surveillance as British warships continue to escort UK-flagged tankers through the Strait of Hormuz.
Although the Ministry of Defence has never officially confirmed their presence in the region, the RAF still has a number of Reaper drones based in nearby Kuwait.
Although Gibraltar released the Grace 1 tanker in August, the Stena Impero remains impounded in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. The Grace 1, since renamed the Adrian Darya 1, is still sailing around the eastern Mediterranean, unable to port because of EU sanctions.