Iran Says It Has Seized British Oil Tanker

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard says it has seized a British oil tanker that was passing through the Strait of Hormuz.

The IRGC’s website, sepahnews.com, says the tanker “Stena Impero” was seized Friday by IRGC forces for “non-compliance with international maritime laws and regulations” and has transferred the vessel to an Iranian port.

The report did not elaborate what port it was transferred to.

The operator of oil tanker Stena Impero says it is unable to contact the ship after it was approached by unidentified vessels and a helicopter in the Strait of Hormuz.

Northern Marine Management and shipping firm Stena Bulk say in a statement that the vessel was in international waters and is now heading toward Iran. The ship has 23 crew aboard.

The British government says it is urgently seeking information after reports Iran has seized the British-flagged ship.

The White House says President Donald Trump has spoken on the phone with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss Iran and ongoing efforts to ensure that Tehran does not obtain a nuclear weapon.

Their phone call Friday came just as Iran’s Revolutionary Guard was announcing that it had seized a British oil tanker in Strait of Hormuz.

On Thursday, the USS Boxer downed an Iranian drone in the strait. Last month, Iran shot down an American military drone.

Macron has taken a lead role in trying to save the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which has been unraveling since Trump pulled the U.S. out of the agreement. Macron recently sent a top diplomatic adviser to Tehran help quell escalating tension in the Persian Gulf.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. 

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