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Iran Seizes Tanker Carrying 'Smuggled Fuel'

283 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  KILTED COWBOY
04 August 2019

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard seized a ship in the Persian Gulf suspected of carrying smuggled fuel, state media reported Sunday, marking Iran's third seizure of a commercial vessel in recent weeks and the latest show of strength by the paramilitary force amid a spike in regional tensions.

State TV and the semi-official Fars news agency reported that seven crew members were detained when the ship was seized late Wednesday carrying 700,000 liters of "smuggled fuel" from Iran. The local reports did not provide further details on the vessel or the nationality of the crew.

The news agency reported that the ship was seized near Farsi Island, where an Iranian Guard Navy base is located. The island sits in the Persian Gulf between Saudi Arabia and Iran, north of the Strait of Hormuz.

"This foreign vessel had received the fuel from other ships and was transferring it to Persian Gulf Arab states," Fars quoted Gen. Ramazan Zirahi, a Guard commander, as saying.

This would mark the third vessel seized by the Guard in the past two weeks, and the second accused of smuggling fuel.

The U.S. Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain, said it did not have information to confirm the reports. Maritime tracking experts also said they did not have any immediate information about the incident or the vessel.

Illegal fuel smuggling out of Iran is a concern of authorities there. Iranian media reported last month that some 8 million liters of government-subsidized Iranian fuel are smuggled daily through Iran's borders to other countries where prices are much higher.

Tensions have soared around the Strait of Hormuz, a critical oil shipping waterway that lies between Iran and Oman. The U.S. has boosted its military presence in the region and six oil tankers have been targeted in the Gulf of Oman in unclaimed acts of sabotage that the U.S. blames on Iran. Iran has denied any involvement in those attacks.

On July 18, the paramilitary force seized a United Arab Emirates-based oil tanker, the Panamanian-flagged MT Riah, for allegedly smuggling some 1 million liters (264,000 gallons) of fuel from Iranian smugglers to foreign customers.

The following week, the Guard's naval forces seized a British-flagged vessel in the Gulf in what some Iranian officials suggested was retaliation for the seizure of an Iranian oil tanker in a British Royal Navy operation off Gibraltar. The U.K. says the Iranian oil tanker was suspected of violating European Union sanctions on oil shipments to Syria. Iran denies the ship was bound for Syria but has not disclosed its destination.

The tensions are rooted in President Donald Trump's decision last year to withdraw the U.S. from Iran's 2015 nuclear accord with world powers and impose sweeping sanctions on the country. Iran recently began openly breaching limits set by the nuclear agreement, saying it cannot abide by the deal unless European signatories provide some kind of economic relief.
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Hit their oil tanks/refineries/pipelines and it WILL stop. Had a coworker who was there when the Shah fell; he and the rest were evacuated off the beach by USN personnel.
Hit their oil tanks/refineries/pipelines and it WILL stop. Had a coworker who was there when the Shah fell; he and the rest were evacuated off the beach by USN personnel.

I was only 9 when that went down but i still remember it quite well. I helped my mother go out and put ribbons on trees for the hostages they held for 444 days. With the whole deal with obama giving them their money back dems always point out it was their money. I usually ask them if they would have been in favor of giving osama bin laden's frozen accounts back to him too? Most often answer is silence.
One word CONVOYS.
It worked in WW2 and would be easier here.
Not a large tract of water in the strait vs the Atlantic ocean.
As far as rogue ships go, well they are on their own.
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