Updated: BREAKING NEWS: Iran Seizes Marshall Island-flagged Ship 34 Sailors Aboard, US Navy Sends Destroyer


BREAKING NEWS: Iran Seizes  Ship and directed it to Bandar Abbas port on the southern coast of Iran

Update:

The US Navy has dispatched a destroyer after Iranian military fired warning shots at and captured a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship traveling through the Persian Gulf on Tuesday, according to a statement from the Pentagon.

Iranian troops scaled the boat and ordered the captain to move towards the country’s mainland, a move that came after the forces directed the MV Maersk Tigris to direct itself deeper into Iran-controlled water. The captain of the vessel, which reportedly has 34 people on board, ultimately obeyed orders after they fired warning shots.

Multiple patrol boats operated by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards reportedly headed off the ship as it navigated the waters in the Straight of Hormuz, citing the vessel for trespassing into the Islamic Republic’s waters, according to the New York Times.

A distress signal put out by the ship triggered the response from the US Navy to dispatch its destroyer, the Farragut. There are reportedly no Americans on board the cargo ship, while Iranian television said that the crew members hailed from countries including Bulgaria, Romania, and Myanmar.

The boat has been directed towards an island off Bandar Abbas, a major base for both Iran’s navy and revolutionary guard.

From Earlier today:

Iran has opened fire at a U.S. cargo ship and directed it to Bandar Abbas port on the southern coast of Iran, Al Arabiya News Channel has reported on Tuesday.

A Pentagon spokesman told Reuters Iranian forces had boarded a Marshall Island-flagged vessel, the MV Maersk Tigris, in the Gulf. He said the boarding occurred after Iranian patrol boats fired shots across the vessel’s bow and ordered it deeper into Iranian waters.

The ship had no U.S. citizens aboard, the spokesman said, contradicting earlier reports which said there were 34 U.S. sailors on board. He said it was travelling through the Strait of Hormuz when the incident occurred.



There was no immediate word from Iranian officials.

Iran has in the past sometimes threatened to block the strait to advance its opposition to sanctions imposed over its nuclear program.

The channel is a narrow strip of water separating Oman and Iran. It connects the biggest Gulf oil producers, such as Saudi Arabia, with the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea.

At its narrowest point, the strait is 33 km (21 miles) across and consists of 2-mile wide navigable channels for inbound and outbound shipping and a 2-mile-wide buffer zone.

We will stick with this story and keep you up to date

(Reuters) – Iranian forces boarded a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship in the Gulf on Tuesday after patrol boats fired warning shots across its bow and ordered it deeper into Iranian waters, the Pentagon said.

U.S. planes and a destroyer were monitoring the situation after the vessel, the MV Maersk Tigris, made a distress call in the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world’s most important oil shipping channels.

There was no immediate word from Iranian officials.

Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television earlier said an Iranian force fired on and seized a U.S. cargo ship with 34 U.S. soldiers on board, and directed it to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. But the Pentagon spokesman said there were no U.S. citizens on board the ship.

Reuters tracking data showed the Maersk, a 65,000-tonne container ship, off the Iranian coast between the islands of Qeshm and Hormuz. It was listed as sailing from the Saudi port of Jeddah, bound for the United Arab Emirates port of Jebel Ali.

A U.S. government official said the ship was intercepted by the Naval force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) at 0905 GMT (0405 ET).

The Pentagon spokesman said the incident occurred when the Maersk Tigris was passing through the Strait of Hormuz. Some 17 million barrels per day (bpd), or about 30 percent of all seaborne-traded oil, passed through the channel in 2013, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Iran has in the past sometimes threatened to block the strait to advance its opposition to sanctions imposed over its nuclear program.

The channel is a narrow strip of water separating Oman and Iran. It connects the biggest Gulf oil producers, such as Saudi Arabia, with the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea.

At its narrowest point, the strait is 33 km (21 miles) across and consists of 2-mile wide navigable channels for inbound and outbound shipping and a 2-mile-wide buffer zone.

(Additional reporting by Yara Bayoumy in Cairo, Mark Hosenball in Washington; William Maclean in Dubai, Writing by Dominic Evans; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

 

More at: http://english.alarabiya.net/





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