Small vessels used in the Persian Gulf for local shipping. FILE PHOTO

Small vessels used in the Persian Gulf for local shipping.

Iran Guards Say They Seized Two More Vessels Smuggling Fuel

4/15/2022

Iran's Revolutionary Guards say they seized two vessels in waters south of Iran, one carrying 250,000 liters of smuggled fuel and another loaded with 130,000 liters.

According to a report by ISNA, one of the vessels was seized in Persian Gulf waters near the Ameri Port in Bushehr province, and the other in Hormozgan province near the Jask Port on the Gulf of Oman on Friday.

Head of the Public Relations Department of the IRGC Navy Colonel Gholam-Hossein Hosseini said that the first ship's seven crew have been detained.

Last week the Guards had seized another vessel carrying 220,000 liters of smuggled fuel in the Persian Gulf and detained its crew of 11.

In recent weeks, IRGC naval units say they have managed to seize a total of 650,000 liters of smuggled fuel from the vessels they seized and handed them over to local judicial authorities.

The sizes of cargos involved indicate these were relatively small vessels transporting oil between local ports. Large tankers carry hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil.

Iran has boarded and seized foreign-flagged tankers in the past. One major incident occurred in January 2021 when the IRGC seized a Korean tanker for what seemed to be Iranian pressure on Seoul to release around $7 billion of funds frozen because of US sanctions.

The US Navy in the Persian Gulf region is known to have intervened in some instances to protect tankers.

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