Iran Can Seize Any Ship, Even If Accompanied By US, UK Forces - Navy Commander

Iran Can Seize Any Ship, Even If Accompanied by US, UK Forces - Navy Commander

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 12th August, 2019) Iran is capable of detaining any vessel, even if it is escorted by US or UK ships, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Navy said in an interview with Lebanese Al-Mayadeen tv channel.

"Whenever our commanders want to, they are able to detain any ship, even if it is accompanied by US and UK forces," Alireza Tangsiri said on Sunday.

He also stressed that the IRGC Navy was responsible for keeping the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf safe, warning against illegal presence in these waters, singling out Israel in particular.

Iran has tightened its control over the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf after its Grace 1 supertanker was detained on July 4 by the Gibraltar authorities.

While the detention was motivated by suspicions of oil smuggling to Syria in violation of EU sanctions, some accused the UK Overseas Territory of acting on US orders. In response, Iran seized on July 19 the UK Stena Impero tanker, which is now in Bandar Abbas port. The crew, including three Russian citizens, remains on board. The United Kingdom has asked Tehran to release the UK vessel, while at the same time extending Grace 1's detention until August 15.

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