Iran’s state TV English-language channel has released video of a ship seized by Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces accused of smuggling fuel out of the country.
The Press TV report showed the ship’s registration number on its bridge, matching that of the MT Riah, a UAE-based vessel that turned off its location tracker as it entered Iranian territorial waters early Sunday.
— Press TV (@PressTV) July 18, 2019
Iranian state media earlier Thursday said a tanker was seized with a crew of 12 aboard for smuggling fuel from Iranian smugglers to foreign customers and was intercepted south of Iran’s Larak Island in the strategic Strait of Hormuz. It did not name the vessel or identify the nationalities of the crew onboard.
A U.S. official had expressed suspicion that the Panamanian-flagged Riah had been seized in Iranian territorial waters. The UAE ship was reported missing since Sunday.
It appears that Iran is using trumped-up charges in order to seize the vessel. Last week the UK seized an Iranian vessel off the coast of Gibraltar which was alleged to be delivering oil to a Syrian company that is under EU sanctions.
As the vessel was travelling in European Union waters, the UK seized the vessel.
Iran vowed to respond to the seizure by taking “revenge” on British ships. They tried to stop a British oil tanker last week, but a Royal Navy warship fended off the attempt. There was also a “bomb boat”, a small vessel laden with explosives, placed in the path of another British ship, but was intercepted.
Iran’s actions are nothing short of terrorism. They are capturing civilians ships and trying to kill British navy personnel as well as making wild threats. Despite this, the UK and others are continuing to trade with Iran and stay on their good side in order to preserve the Iran Deal.
It is time the UK woke up and realised that Iran is a threat. What is happening now is just a small taste of the future and, if Iran had nuclear weapons or greater military capabilities, they will not hesitate to use them. They want to terrorise, control and dominate all who oppose their ideology.