Iran‘s Modern Guard Corps comprise seized a foreign tanker accused of smuggling oil with a crew of 12, per Iranian pronounce TV.

The document on Thursday did no longer title the impounded vessel, but mentioned it used to be “smuggling 1,000,000 litres of fuel” from Iranian smugglers to foreign clients.

The announcement came a day after Iran’s foreign ministry mentioned Iranian forces assisted a foreign ship “with technical failure” after it sent out a hurt name.

Al Jazeera’s Dorsa Jabbari, reporting from Tehran, mentioned the ship impounded used to be the identical one towed by Iranian forces.

“The Iranians express this tanker used to be before all the pieces rescued on Sunday after it sent out hurt signals. But as soon as it used to be towed into Larak island, they express they understood it used to be smuggling oil and that is the reason when they seized it,” she mentioned, adding that the crew had been arrested.

“The pronounce TV, quoting the commander of the Modern Guard, mentioned Iran will no longer stand for this originate of piracy within the Strait of Hormuz.”

Gulf tensions

The traits came amid questions over the whereabouts of a Panamanian-flagged ship travelling by the Strait of Hormuz.

TankerTrackers, an online oil-shipment tracking service, mentioned on Wednesday the Riah had crossed into Iranian waters on Sunday. At that level, the tanker’s computerized identification device stopped sending signals.

The “slightly itsy-bitsy tanker” used to be used “for fuelling other vessels” within the Gulf, per TankerTrackers.

Ranjith Raja, of the knowledge company Refinitiv, knowledgeable The Associated Press news company on Tuesday that the tanker had no longer switched off its tracking in three months of journeys around the United Arab Emirates (UAE). “That will possible well very smartly be a crimson flag,” Raja mentioned.

A UAE reliable, who requested anonymity, knowledgeable the AFP news company on Tuesday that the “tanker in inquire of is neither UAE-owned nor operated”.

“[It] does no longer elevate Emirati personnel, and did no longer emit a hurt name,” the reliable mentioned. “We are monitoring the difficulty with our global companions.”

The questions over Riah’s pronounce advance amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington over the extinct’s nuclear programme and a standoff between Iran and the United Kingdom over the British Royal Marines’ seizure of an Iranian oil tanker earlier in July.

The vessel used to be held on the suspicion it used to be heading to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions.

Tehran has known as on the UK to free up the vessel straight, with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei asserting his nation will retaliate over the seizure of the supertanker carrying 2.1 million barrels of light crude oil.

Calling the incident an act of “piracy” in a televised speech on Tuesday, Khamenei mentioned: “God willing, the Islamic republic and its dedicated forces will no longer leave this contaminated with out a response.” He did no longer give an explanation for.

The British foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, mentioned on Saturday the UK would facilitate the free up of the ship if Iran would possibly per chance possible well guarantee the vessel wouldn’t breach EU sanctions on oil shipments to Syria.

Individually, the United States has also blamed Iran for a spate of suspected assaults in Would possibly per chance also just and June on commercial vessels discontinuance to the Strait of Hormuz, an predominant sea lane whereby greater than 20 p.c of all crude oil passes. Tehran denies the allegations.

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