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Iran’s IRGC seizes foreign ship in Persian Gulf for alleged diesel smuggling

Navy of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution commandos in the Strait of Hormuz, Persian Gulf. Feb. 2015. (sayyed shahab-o- din vajedi/Wikimedia Commons)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said on November 20 they had seized a boat in the Persian Gulf for allegedly smuggling diesel.

“A foreign ship, carrying smuggled diesel was seized,” Iranian media quoted Colonel Ahmad Hajian, commander of the Naval Type 412 Zulfaqar in the southern Parsian county, as saying.

“After the inspection, more than 150,000 litres of smuggled diesel were seized and the 11 foreign crew members were brought before a court,” he added.

Hajian did provide the ship’s nationality or details about when it was seized. He also did not specify the nationality of the crew members.

To protect Iran’s economy, Hajian said, his unit would “deal decisively” with fuel smuggling in the sea.

Iran has frequently seized boats it says are being used for smuggling fuel in the Gulf.

The hard-line Fars news agency, affiliated with the IRGC, released video footage showing speed-boats intercepting a vessel and masked armed Guards boarding it.

The incident is the latest in a series in the Persian Gulf where several ships have been attacked or seized.