Iran accuses the US Navy of defending fuel smuggling in the Gulf incident Ship’s crew


DUBAI, July 10 (Reuters) – A commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards on Monday accused the US Navy of defending fuel smuggling in the Gulf by trying to interfere when Iran intercepted a ship last week.

“On July 6, IRGC Navy personnel inspected a vessel named NADA 2 that was involved in smuggling Iranian oil and gas in the Persian Gulf, which the Americans sought to prevent through a series of unprofessional and risky actions,” the IRGC said Commander Ramazan Zirrahi in comments reported by Iran’s Tasnim News Agency.

On July 7, Iran’s Fars News Agency reported that following a court order, the Revolutionary Guards had seized a ship carrying 900 tons of contraband fuel and 12 crew members.

“The Americans flew several planes, including two A-10 fighter jets, and tried until the last moment to prevent the ship from being seized, but it was eventually brought to Bushehr Port for legal procedures,” he added.

The US 5th Fleet spokesman, Commander Tim Hawkins, had said last week that the US Navy observed the interception of the ship in international waters but decided not to take any further action.

The incident was one of several incidents involving Iranian forces and Gulf ships last week.

In another incident, the US Navy said Iranian naval personnel fired several long shots at the Bahamian-flagged Richmond Voyager, managed by US oil giant Chevron CVX.N, after Tehran claimed the ship was involved in a collision in which five crew members were injured by an Iranian ship.

Chevron denied that the tanker was involved in a collision and said it was not informed of any legal action or court order by Iran regarding the vessel.

(Reporting by Dubai Newsroom, Editing by Peter Graff)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.

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