Iranian naval forces seize US vessel by leaning court order

Iranian navy has seized US owned Marshall Islands-flagged ship under a court decision according to Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Iranian naval forces confiscated the US in the Strait of Hormuz by leaning to a local court order, Fars News Agency reported.

"The ship is a trade vessel and has been seized by the Iranian naval forces at the request of Iran's Ports and Maritime Organization," says the Agency by citing “an informed source.”

"The ship was seized after a relevant court order was issued for its confiscation,” says aforementioned agency source.

The ship is a Maersk Tigris, managed by Singapore-based Rickmers Shipmanagement, which is part of Hamburg-based Rickmers Group.

Earlier on Tuesday Iranian naval forces that were patrolling in the Strait of Hormuz intercepted the cargo vessel and forced it further into the Iranian territorial water with a fire warn shot.

The Iranian navy confiscated the ship with its 34 crews in the overseas of the port city of Bandar Abbas. Fars News Agency source said there were European and American nationals among the crew members in the seized vessel.

The incident occurred in the wake of US backed Saudi-led air strikes targeted Yemen’s Iranian backed Shiite Houthi rebels in the past several weeks. The Yemeni crisis further strained relations between Iran and the Arab Gulf states in which the US has also positioned itself together with the Sunni coalition.

The Gulf countries and Iran have long been confronting over territorial water problem and the ownership of some tiny islands in the Strait of Hormuz to which Iran also calls Persian Gulf.

The US administration denounced that it was cautiously following Iran’s activities both in the Hormuz and Gulf of Aden where the transportation of petroleum together with commercial maritime navigation raise geopolitical concerns between the parties.

The Pentagon said Iran’s move was “inappropriate” and “provocative” and a US naval destroyer has been sent to the region to "monitor" the situation.

Since last year the US and Iran have been negotiating for ripening a final nuclear deal before the July 1 deadline and signed a preliminary framework agreement in the very beginning of this month.

But, the confiscation of vessel is very likely to harm on the delicate relations between Tehran and Washington which have their focus on to terminate nuclear deadlock in the months to come.

TRTWorld and agencies