Iranian Revolutionary Guards Now Say They Did Seize Tanker

Officials accuse tanker of being used to 'smuggle' fuel

New statements from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard are reporting that the MT Riah, a small, privately-owned oil tanker, was seized by Iranian forces on Sunday for carrying one million liters of contraband fuel.

They did not elaborate on what this contraband fuel amounted to, but the ship was reportedly captured on Sunday near Larak Island. The UAE had previously reported the ship “missing,” and the US said they suspected Iran of it.

There are a lot of questions remaining about this, however, including why Iran would seize a ship on Sunday and not confirm it until Thursday, and how a Panamanian-flagged ship traveling from the UAE to an unknown destination would be in any way smuggling in a way that impacts Iran.

The biggest question here, however, is why on Tuesday the Iranian Foreign Ministry issued a statement denying that anything had happened to the MT Riah, and that it had simply been towed to Iran for repairs.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.