The Iranian navy has seized a foreign ship in the Persian Gulf for allegedly smuggling diesel on November 20, 2021, according to Iranian news media.
“A foreign ship, carrying smuggled diesel was seized,” said Colonel Ahmad Hajian, of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps naval forces in the southern city of Parsian.
“After the inspection, more than 150,000 liters of smuggled diesel were seized and the 11 foreign crew members were brought before a court,” added Hajian, commander of the Naval Type 412 Zulfaqar.
Hajian did not provide the ship’s nationality or details about when it was seized. He also did not specify the nationality of the crew members.
To protect Iran’s economy, Hajian said, his unit would “deal decisively” with fuel smuggling in the sea.
The incident is the latest in a series in the Persian Gulf where several ships have been attacked or seized.
On November 15, the Iranian navy flew a helicopter within 23 meters of the American amphibious assault ship USS Essex, circling the ship three times.
There has been ongoing military tension between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States of America, along with their respective allies in the Persian Gulf region.
On October 13, 2021, the Israeli minister of foreign affairs, Yair Lapid, announced all options are being considered in moving Iran to terminate its enrichment of uranium. On October 26, Iranian fuel stations and road electronic billboards were hit by a cyber attack.
Last month, Iran carried out a complex and coordinated strike on US forces in Syria using up to five armed drones to attack the Tanf garrison at a key strategic point near the Jordan-Iraq border. The attack was the latest in a series of drone strikes on US forces.
The U.S. and Iran nearly entered into an open conflict in January 2020, in a rare direct Iran–U.S. confrontation that brought the two nations closer to the brink of war than they have been in decades, with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei pledging to exact revenge on American forces.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guards launched ballistic missile attacks against two military bases in Iraq housing U.S. soldiers in retaliation for the Trump administration’s assassination of General Qasem Soleimani, head of the Iranian Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces, a militia unit, were both killed.