Iran claims it successfully seized a foreign oil tanker in the Gulf

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A British Royal Navy patrol vessel guards the oil supertanker Grace 1, that's on suspicion of carrying Iranian crude oil to Syria, as it sits anchored in waters of the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, historically claimed by Spain, July 4, 2019

(Reuters/Jon Nazca)

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran has seized a foreign tanker smuggling fuel in the Gulf, state television quoted Iran's Revolutionary Guards as saying on Thursday.


"A foreign vessel smuggling one million litres of fuel in the Larak Island of the Persian Gulf has been seized," the station said, adding that the ship was seized on Sunday.

The Revolutionary Guards said the impounded vessel - which Iranian authorities have not yet named - was the same one it towed after it sent a distress call.

"The vessel that Iran towed to its waters after receiving a distress call, was later seized with the order from the court as we found out that it was smuggling fuel," the Guards said in a statement quoted by state television.

The Guards said they had seized no other ship in the Gulf.

Iranian navy vessels came to the assistance of a disabled foreign oil tanker in the Gulf that needed repairs, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman was quoted as saying on Tuesday by the semi-official news agency ISNA.

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