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Iran seizes vessel suspected of smuggling fuel in Persian Gulf – reports

Iran seizes vessel suspected of smuggling fuel in Persian Gulf – reports
Iran has seized a vessel traveling through the Persian Gulf for allegedly smuggling diesel fuel, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency. The move comes amid a series of high-profile tanker detentions.

The unidentified vessel was illegally transporting 250,000 liters of fuel to the United Arab Emirates when it was captured by Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps on Monday.

“It was detained near Iran’s Greater Tunb island in the Persian Gulf… the crew have been handed over to legal authorities in the southern Hormozgan province,” ISNA said.

The report did not disclose the nationalities of the crew members.

In early July, an Iranian oil tanker allegedly bound for Syria was boarded by British marines off the coast of Gibraltar.

Iran denounced the act of “state piracy” and retaliated by seizing a UK-flagged vessel as it entered the Strait of Hormuz.The Iranian tanker was released in late August, while the British-flagged ‘Stena Impero’ is still in Iranian custody. The vessel will be released in the near future, according to Iranian officials.

The standoff led to the UK launching naval patrols in the Gulf, a move which Tehran said could undermine security in the vital waterway.

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