EXCLUSIVE: Iranian Source Confirms Seizure of US Owned Ship
An informed source in Iran confirmed earlier reports that the Iranian Navy has seized a US ship in the Persian Gulf, adding that the ship is Marshall Islands-flagged, but is owned by the US.
“The ship is a trade vessel and has been seized by the Iranian navy at the request of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization,” the source told FNA on Tuesday.
“The ship was seized after a relevant court order was issued for its confiscation,” he added, indicating that the the IPMO had monetary differences with the ship owner.
The source said the ship is a “Marshall Islands-flagged, but is owned by the US”, adding that the crew are from different nationalities, including Europeans.
The source said there could also be American nationals among the crew.
The Iranian Navy confiscated the American trade vessel with all its 34 crew on Tuesday afternoon.
Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy is responsible for security of Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf.
Iran’s military vessels are now taking the American vessel to Iran’s Southern port city of Bandar Abbas in the Persian Gulf.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry confirmed the development minutes ago, while a Pentagon spokesman said a Marshall Islands-flagged ship had been boarded by the Iranian navy.
“The vessel initially ignored the warning, but complied after the shots were fire,” a US Army Colonel Steve Warren told RT.
A Pentagon spokesman said the name of the ship is Maersk Tigris, adding that no US navy or military forces involved in the incident.
Other sources also quoted the Pentagon spokesman as saying that US planes and destroyer USS Farragut responded to Maersk Tigris distress call and are monitoring situation as Maersk Tigris is nearing the Iranian port.