IRGC intercepts foreign tanker smuggling 2 million liters of fuel

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) seized an oil tanker with two million liters of fuel in the Persian Gulf off the coast of southwestern Iran, according to Iranian media on Sunday. The vessel was flying the flag of a country in Oceania, and had 14 foreign crew members from two Asian countries. The IRGC claimed the fuel was being smuggled illegally and transferred it to the National Petroleum Refining and Distribution Company of Bushehr province. Earlier this month, the Iranian Navy seized an oil tanker previously seized by the US, and in December, the IRGC seized two oil tankers carrying about 4.5 million liters of fuel. The incident adds to maritime tensions in the region amid increased attacks on maritime traffic by the Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen and retaliatory strikes by a US and UK-led coalition in Yemen.