Alwaght- Naval forces of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) have seized a “foreign vessel,” that was “smuggling” one million barrels of fuel in the Persian Gulf.
The tanker was intercepted by the IRGC near Larak Island in the Strait of Hormuz off Iran’s coast, the bottleneck point for maritime traffic from the Persian Gulf.
According to a statement aired by Iranian state TV, the ship was seized on July 14. The IRGC would not provide details about ownership of the vessel.
The ship in question may be the UAE-owned, Panamanian-flagged MT ‘Riah,’ which went missing last Sunday while passing the strait and was presumed captured by the IRGC. Tehran earlier insisted the ship had experienced a technical malfunction and was towed into Iranian waters for repair.
British authorities previously seized a supertanker carrying Iranian crude through the Strait of Gibraltar, claiming its cargo was destined for Syria and thus was subject to EU sanctions targeting Iran’s ally. Tehran compared the arrest to an act of piracy and demanded the release of the ship, the Panamanian-flagged ‘Grace 1.’
Iran accused the UK of doing Washington’s bidding and helping the US attempt to stifle the Islamic Republic’s oil exports.