14:08 GMT14 August 2020
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    Tensions have been brewing in the Gulf region since Iran seized a UK-flagged oil tanker last month citing violations of maritime rules. Weeks earlier, an Iranian oil vessel had been detained off the coast of Gibraltar for allegedly breaching anti-Syrian sanctions.

    The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps announced on Sunday they detained a foreign oil tanker on 31 July 2019 in the Persian Gulf that was smuggling fuel to 'certain Arab nations'. According to IRNA state-run news agency, the captured tanker was an Iraqi vessel. 

    "The IRGC's naval forces have seized a foreign oil tanker in the Persian Gulf that was smuggling fuel for some Arab countries", Press TV reported citing IRGC commander Ramezan Zirahi.

    According to Iran's Guards commander, the seized vessel was carrying 700,000 litres of fuel. The commander added that the seven sailors of different nationalities onboard had been detained.

    The vessel carrying the smuggled fuel has been transferred to Bushehr and the smuggled fuel delivered to the National Oil Products Distribution Company of Bushehr in accordance with Iranian law.

    Tensions in the Persian Gulf have been on the rise over the past several months. The situation became especially heated when Iran seized UK-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz on 19 July over what it described as a breach of international maritime regulations. The move came two weeks after Iran's own Grace 1 oil tanker had been seized by UK marines over an alleged breach of the European Union's sanctions against Syria.

    Tags:
    oil tanker, IRGC, Iran
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