Iraq’s oil ministry announced on Sunday it has no connection with an oil tanker seized by Iran and claimed to be smuggling oil, Iraqi media reported.
Earlier on Sunday, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps said that it has seized an oil tanker smuggling oil in the Persian Gulf. Since then Iran has maintained silence.
According to the Iranian announcement the tanker was transporting les than 5,000 barrels of diesel. The Iraqi oil ministry said it “does not export diesel to the international market.”
The statement added that the Iraqi government agencies are working to gather information about the seized tanker. Two Iraqi port officials said the vessel is a “small ship” owned by a private company.
Radio Farda had earlier reported that the vessel is not a major oil tanker, based on its cargo capacity.
Iranian officials have repeatedly threatened shipping in the Persian Gulf after U.S. sanctions cut Tehran’s oil exports by 90 percent. In July, Iran seized a British tanker, which is still being held in Bandar Abbas.