TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran has detained three foreign oil vessels in a month, Iran's Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday, arresting a foreign vessel in Gulf waters on fuel smuggling charges and holding its crew.
The Revolutionary Guard said that its naval forces had arrested in a judicial note all seven crew members of the foreign ship, seven of multiple nationalities.
The ship was carrying 7,000,000 liters of fuel smuggled from Iran en route to Arab countries in the Gulf, the statement said. The Revolutionary Guard said the ship had been taken to the southwestern port of Bushehr.
The reason for the transfer of the ship to the port of Bandar Abbas is the presence of a court in charge of such cases in this city, as well as a Gulf water monitoring center in the same city.
On July 18, Iran seized a Swedish oil tanker carrying a British flag in the Strait of Hormuz, claiming it violated navigation rules, days after the Crown authorities seized an Iranian oil vessel on charges of transporting oil to Syria, On the Damascus regime.
On July 14, Iran detained a Panama-flagged oil tanker for fuel smuggling before the Indian crew was released.
The head of the Al-Jazeera office in Tehran said that Iran is conducting large operations to combat fuel smuggling at its land and sea borders, given the presence of mafias to smuggle fuel because of low prices inside Iran, which is causing heavy losses to Tehran.
The director of the office of the island that the issue of smuggling of fuel abroad is not new, but it is sensitive in the current situation under the tensions in the Gulf waters between Tehran on the one hand, America and some European countries on the other.
As a result of a number of attacks on oil tankers in May and June in the waters of the Gulf, America announced its intention to build a military alliance to secure navigation in the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman, which was rejected by Tehran and met with European countries with different positions between supporters and refused to join this alliance .