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Egypt seizes Ukrainian tanker with Iran oil, sentences six for spying

The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) transits the Suez Canal. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Julia Casper/Released)

Egyptian authorities seized a Ukrainian tanker carrying Iranian oil as it was making its way through the Suez Canal.

However, news of the seizure only surfaced after Egypt’s Supreme State Security Criminal Court sentenced six people for spying for Iran.

The defendants received sentences between 15 and 25 years, $30,000 fines and had their phones and computers confiscated.

Alaa Moawad, an Egyptian, was accused of harming Egypt’s national interests by spreading Shiism through a website and publications. The other five defendants, Iranians, were tried in absentia. Most Egyptians practice Sunni Islam.

Egyptian-Iranian tensions are at a high presently. Egypt is a U.S. ally and also supports Saudi Arabia in its ongoing conflict with Houthi rebels in Yemen, which Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of arming.

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© 2019 New York Daily News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.