According to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, they have set a "foreign tanker" in the Persian Gulf, which was said to have been involved in "oil smuggling." The ship was said to have brought smuggled oil from Iranian boats to foreign ships, the Revolutionary Guards said Wednesday via its "Sepah News" website, with no indication of the ship's origin or name. Twelve foreign crew members had been arrested.
According to the Revolutionary Guards, the ship was docked on Sunday south of the Iranian island of Larak in the strait of Hormuz. There were "legal proceedings" to the ship. The guards rejected reports of "Western media" stating that Iran has been holding another tanker for several days. Iran had announced on Tuesday that it had come to the rescue of a foreign tanker following an emergency call.
Thus, after a technical problem, the ship was towed "for necessary repairs" into Iranian waters. The organization TankerTrackers said that the Panamanian flagged tanker "Riah", which fueled other ships on the Strait of Hormuz, sailed into Iranian waters on Sunday. Subsequently, his position signal was no longer received.
Since the US's exit from the international nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018 and the imposition of new sanctions, tensions in the Gulf region have massively increased. Since the beginning of May, there have been several attacks on tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and in the Gulf of Oman, for which Washington blamed Iran. Tehran rejected all responsibility.
In late June, the launch of a US reconnaissance drone by the Revolutionary Guards over the Strait of Hormuz brought Iran and the US to the brink of military confrontation. US President Donald Trump stopped at the last minute a retaliatory attack. Further tensions at the beginning of July, the fixing of a tanker with Iranian oil before Gibraltar. Tehran then threatened Britain with consequences.
It was only on Tuesday that Iran's spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that Iran would "not leave unanswered" the ship's "theft". The United Kingdom had ordered the tanker "Grace 1" on suspicion that he wanted to transport oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions. Iran criticized the move as "illegal" because it was not bound by EU sanctions. (AFP)