Middle east

Iran Asserts Control of Ship Traffic in Persian Gulf After Accusations Over Tanker Attack

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Iran is controlling all movement of ships in the Persian Gulf, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) navy commander said on Wednesday in the wake of recent attacks on two tankers in the region.

“Security has been ensured on the entire maritime borders along the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz … We are ready to defend the interests of the Islamic Republic even in distant waters … The enemy knows that its movements are being monitored, and as soon as it violates them [borders], even unintentionally, it will receive a serious warning and must immediately obey it, otherwise it will be dealt a decisive blow,” Alireza Tangsiri said, as quoted by the Tasnim news agency.

Iran is not messing about when it comes to protecting its borders and interests, the commander warned.

The statement was made after Israel, the UK and the US accused Iran of being involved in the 29 July attack on the Israeli-managed Mercer Street tanker in the Gulf of Oman, which resulted in the death of two crew members, a Romanian and a British citizen.

US Secretary State Antony Blinken has since said that Washington is confident Tehran was responsible for the incident. The same charges have been put forward by the UK and Israel. Tehran has dismissed the allegations as groundless.

On Tuesday, Lloyd’s List, a shipping information service, reported that an unknown group of people captured the Panama-flagged Asphalt Princess tanker in the Gulf of Oman and directed the ship toward Iran. However, the vessel changed its course and started sailing to Oman after the armed group left the ship.

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