Iran Blames U.S Navy Of Defending Fuel Smuggling In The Gulf Region

On Monday, one of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Commander reportedly accused the U.S. Navy of defending a fuel smuggling activity in the Gulf by attempting to interfere as Iran intercepted a vessel last week.

On 6 July, the personnel of the Revolutionary Guards were examining a vessel dubbed NADA 2 that was associated with smuggling Iran’s oil and gas into the waters of the Persian Gulf that the Americans long strived to prevent via a series of risky and unprofessional actions, Ramazan Zirrahi, the IRGC Commander mentioned in comments by Tasnim news agency based in Iran.

Representation image

On 7 July, Iran’s Fars news agency reported that the Revolutionary Guards had successfully seized a vessel loaded with about 900 tons of smuggled fuel with 12 crew members after a court order. The Americans flew many aircraft, including two of its A-10 fighters, and kept trying until the ultimate moment to stop the vessel seizure. Still, it was brought to the Bushehr port eventually for legal processes, he added.

Tim Hawkins, a U.S. 5th Fleet spokesperson Commander, had declared last week that the U.S. Navy had tracked the interception of the vessel in international waters but had chosen not to make further responses.

The incident was one of many that involved Iran’s forces and Gulf shipping over the last week.

In yet another incident, the U.S. Navy mentioned that Iran’s naval personnel had fired several long bursts at the vessel dubbed Richmond Voyager (flying the flag of the Bahamas), which is managed by a U.S. oil major named Chevron, following Tehran’s claims that the vessel was part of a collision that injured five crew members from an Iran-based ship.

Chevron denied that the tanker was involved in any collision and said that it had not been made aware of legal proceedings/court orders by Iran regarding the ship.

Reference: Reuter, The Print, Middle East Monitor

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