Iran seizes foreign oil tanker, kidnaps 12 crew members amid rising tensions
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards terror group has seized a foreign tanker and kidnapped 12 crew members accused of smuggling oil in the Persian Gulf, the country’s state TV says, as tensions between the Islamic regime and the West continue to escalate.
According to the report, the tanker was taking fuel from Iranian smugglers to foreign customers and was intercepted south of Iran’s Larak Island in the Strait of Hormuz.
The Panamanian-flagged oil tanker MT Riah stopped transmitting its location overnight on Sunday near Qeshm Island, which has a Revolutionary Guard terror group base on it.
The UK is set to send another major warship to protect British commercial oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, the Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday.
The US and its allies are discussing plans to provide naval escorts for oil tankers through the Gulf, a top US general said last week, hours after three armed Iranian boats attempted to seize a British oil tanker.
The US is preparing to send 500 troops to a remote base east of the Saudi capital Riyadh to front up to the growing Iran threat, CNN reported last night citing two US defense officials.
Iran recently started enriching uranium beyond a limit established in a 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers, a deal from which Trump withdrew. Trump has since intensified economic sanctions on Tehran, and tensions have escalated.