Iran seizes foreign vessel smuggling fuel

Iran seizes foreign vessel smuggling fuel
A foreign vessel smuggling fuel has been seized by Iranian naval forces.
2 min read
04 August, 2019
Another vessel has been seized [Getty]

Iranian naval forces have seized a "foreign vessel" in the Gulf, state news agency IRNA reported Sunday, in what would be the country's third such seizure in a month.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' "naval forces have seized a foreign vessel carrying 700,000 litres of smuggled fuel around Farsi island", the agency said, quoting a statement from the Guards.

It is unclear to whom the vessel belongs.

This comes as hours after Iranian general said the chances of a conflict breaking out in the Gulf region have decreased, after a spate of hostile acts in the key waterway.

"At first glance, it may seem that the situation in the Persian Gulf is heading towards a military conflict but when studying the situation more deeply, we see that chances for such a conflict become less probable," said Brigadier General Ahmadreza Pourdastan.

"All countries which have interests in the region are by no means willing to see a new crisis in the Middle East," he said, quoted by Mehrnews agency.

"The military capabilities of our armed forces are to such an extent that the enemies don't dare go for a military option against us.

Tensions between arch-enemies Iran and the United States have soared this year after Washington stepped up its "maximum pressure" campaign against Tehran.

Ships have been attacked, drones downed and oil tankers seized since May, after the United States withdrew from a landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers and reimposed biting sanctions against the country.

At the height of the crisis, US President Donald Trump called off air strikes against Iran at the last minute in June after the Islamic republic's forces shot down a US drone.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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