Iran seized another vessel in the Gulf for allegedly smuggling 250,000 litres of diesel fuel to the United Arab Emirates, according to Iran’s semi-official Students News agency ISNA. The ship was detained near Iran’s Greater Tunb island in the Persian Gulf.
After the vessel was detained, the crew was handed over to legal authorities in the southern Hormozgan province, with ISNA not mentioning the nationalities of the crewmen.
The seizure came at around the same period with the weekend attack on a major oil installation in Saudi Arabia. Houthis took responsibility for the attack, while the US blamed Iran for the strike.
Following US’s Secretary of State accusations against Iran, an Iranian spokesperson from Iran’s foreign ministry denied the accusation that Tehran was behind the attacks, explaining that “blind accusations and inappropriate comments in a diplomatic context are incomprehensible and meaningless.”
As Reuters reports, the drone attacks against Saudi Aramco’s sprawling Abqaiq oil terminal has resulted to a traffic congestion, a slight rise in comparison to previous levels, as about a dozen tankers wait to conduct their loading operations at Ras Tanura and Juaymah.
Specifically, the Saudi officials wait to further understand whether the supply disruption has been affected; Yet, they have reported that the loading operations have begun.
The attack affected almost six million barrels of Saudi output, which equals to 5% of the world’s supply. Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman informed that 5.7 million barrels a day of crude oil and gas production have been impacted. He added that Aramco is now trying to recover the lost quantities of oil.
Before this attack and the latest seizure, the presence of the UK warships in the Strait of Hormuz had stabilized the commercial shipping operations, a British navy official reported to Reuters.
Iran increased its fight against smuggling fuel, after seizing a vessel for smuggling fuel in the Gulf and detained its 12 Filipino crew members.
Earlier, in July, Iran seized a British oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz, alleging that it conducted marine violations, two weeks after British forces detained an Iranian tanker near Gibraltar, accusing it of transporting oil to Syria, thus breaching EU sanctions.