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Iran says it seized a 'foreign vessel' smuggling a million litres of fuel in the Strait of Hormuz

Alexandra Ma , Business Insider US
 Jul 18, 2019, 02:48 PM
Map showing the approximate locations of where the UAE-based oil tanker MT Riah went missing on Sunday, and where Iran said its Revolutionary Guard seized a "foreign vessel" around the same time.
  • Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard seized a "foreign vessel" in the Strait of Hormuz, the state-run Mehr news agency reported.
  • It said the vessel is accused of smuggling a million liters of fuel. Twelve foreign crew members were on board when it was seized, the news agency said.
  • It's not clear where the vessel came from, and the nationalities of the crew on board.
  • The island where the Revolutionary Guard reportedly captured the ship is 6 miles away from where a UAE-based, Panamanian flagged tanker went missing earlier this week.
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider SA.

Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard corps has seized a "foreign vessel" accused of smuggling a million liters of fuel in the Strait of Hormuz, a state-run news agency reported.

The Revolutionary Guard captured the ship on Sunday in the south of Larak Island, the Mehr news agency reported on Thursday.

The ship had 12 crew members on board at the time, Mehr added. The news agency did not say where the vessel came from, and the nationalities of the crew on board.

The reported capture comes days after a UAE-based, Panamanian-flagged tanker was reported missing in the same region.

The MT Riah stopped transmitting its location overnight on Sunday near Qeshm Island, which is located 6 miles from Larak Island.

Tensions between Iran and the West are running high after the British Navy captured an Iranian oil tanker off Gibraltar, a British territory, two weeks ago.

The Grace 1 tanker was suspected of transporting oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard harassed a British oil tanker in the same region a week alter, but eventually sailed away after a UK Royal Navy frigate aimed its weapons and issued "verbal warnings" to them, according to the UK government.

Tehran also violated a key agreement in the 2015 nuclear deal by increasing its stockpile of enriched uranium beyond its limit earlier this month. The regime has vowed to continue enriching the stockpile.

The US has sent thousands of additional troops and fighter jets to the region amid the mounting tensions.

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