TEHRAN - The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy has seized a foreign oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, Tasnim reported.
The U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said the oil tanker is a Panama-flagged merchant vessel.
The foreign oil tanker, which has apparently broken the rules, was captured by the IRGC Navy forces in the Strait of Hormuz waters on Wednesday, the news agency said.
The AP quoted the US Navy’s 5th Fleet as saying that the vessel was a Panama-flagged oil tanker identified as the Niovi.
Iran often seizes vessels that break the rules or fail to abide by international maritime law.
Last week, the Iranian Navy seized a Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker in the Sea of Oman and directed it toward Iran's territorial waters after the tanker hit an Iranian vessel and tried to flee in violation of maritime regulations.
The foreign oil tanker collided with an Iranian fishing boat in the Persian Gulf on the night of April 26, the public relations department of the Iranian Army said on April 27.
“The seizure came after an unknown ship collided with an Iranian vessel last night on Wednesday in the Persian Gulf, causing several Iranian crew members to go missing and get injured,” the Army said.
According to international law, in such cases the vessel responsible for the incident is tasked to rush to the help of the crew and provide medical services to the injured.
Recovering from the shock, the fishermen managed to issue a distress call. The Iranian Navy shortly after seized the tanker in the Sea of Oman after having been contacted by the Maritime Surveillance and Rescue Center (MRCC), Press TV reported.
The vessel was intercepted by Bayandor corvette of the Iranian Navy in compliance with a confiscation order issued by judicial authorities.