Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has seized a foreign oil tanker in the Gulf that it says was smuggling fuel to some Arab states, Iran's state TV reported, adding that seven sailors onboard of the tanker had been detained.
"The IRGC's naval forces have seized a foreign oil tanker in the Persian Gulf that was smuggling fuel for some Arab countries," TV quoted an IRGC commander Ramezan Zirahi as saying.
"It carried 700,000 liters of fuel. Seven sailors onboard of the tanker, who are from different nationalities, were detained."
The tanker seems to be a relatively small vessel as the quantity of oil on board is insignificant in comparison with hundreds of thousands of barrels average tankers carry. The 700,000 liters mentioned by the IRGC is less than 5,000 barrels.
Last month, Iran seized a British tanker in the Strait of Hormuz for alleged international maritime violations and allowed a second one to proceed after issuing a warning. It was in retaliation for the seizure of an Iranian supertanker by Gibraltar, an overseas territory of Britain.
Since losing its oil exports under U.S. sanctions Iranian officials have repeatedly threatened retaliation.