Iranian media reported that Iran seized a foreign oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz on the 7th, accusing its crew of smuggling fuel to neighboring countries and detaining 12 Filipinos.
The semi-official Iranian Student News Agency reported that Iran smashed a fuel smuggling gang in the Strait of Hormuz on the 7th.
The media quoted Hussein Dehaki, head of the coast guard in southern Irans Hormuzgan province, as saying that Iran intercepted a foreign tugboat carrying 283,900 litres of petrol, worth about $2 million that day.
According to Dehaki, 12 Filipino citizens on board were detained on suspicion of fuel smuggling and handed over to judicial officials, who were carrying out the necessary legal procedures.
Iranian media reports did not mention the details of the detained tankers registry for the time being.
Iran has recently seized several foreign oil tankers on suspicion of fuel smuggling. Irans Islamic Revolutionary Guard detained an oil tanker registered in the United Arab Emirates in Panama on 18 July, identifying its crew as smuggling 1 million litres of fuel; at the end of July, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard detained a foreign oil tanker in the Persian Gulf, identifying its crew as obtaining fuel from other vessels and then selling it to Arab countries in the Gulf region.
The Iranian government is concerned about fuel smuggling, the Associated Press reported. Iranian media reported in July that about 8 million litres of subsidized fuel are smuggled daily across the Iranian border to other countries, where smugglers profit from price differentials.
French Armed Forces Minister Florence Pali and US Defense Secretary Mark Esper attended a press conference in Paris on July 7. France will continue to make efforts to restore Iran to fulfil all the provisions of the comprehensive agreement on Irans nuclear issue.
We can only confirm our goal, that is, to make Iran fully comply with the Vienna (signed Iranian nuclear) agreement, Pali said. We must do everything we can to ease tensions with Iran and ensure the safety of navigation.
The U.S. government withdrew from the Iranian nuclear agreement in May 2018, resumed sanctions against Iraq, and deployed additional military forces to the Gulf. The recent attack on a merchant ship in this waters was identified by Iran by the United States, which Iran firmly denies.
The United States is trying to lobby its allies to join the escort alliance for the so-called safeguarding of the safety of navigation in the Gulf on the grounds of protecting freedom of navigation, but few respondents have responded.
France has recently proposed a $15 billion credit line to Iran by the end of the year in exchange for Irans resumption of fulfilling all the terms of the nuclear agreement, but the premise for the loan will be the approval of the U.S. government. (Yan Jie) (Special Draft of Xinhua News Agency)
Source: Xinhua responsible editor: Li Zaixing_NBJS9026