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Iran — the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism — has captured a British-flagged and a Liberian-flagged oil tanker on Friday in the Strait of Hormuz, according to U.S. officials.
“Iran has also seized a second tanker, the Liberian-flagged MV Mesdar, according to a US official,” CNN reported. “Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps announced earlier that its navy has captured a British-flagged tanker ‘Stena Impero’ in the Strait of Hormuz.”
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is designated by the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and has “engaged in terrorist activity since its inception 40 years ago.”
Iran has seized a second tanker, the Liberian-flagged MV Mesdar, according to a US official. The order of seizure of this one and the British-flagged tanker isn't clear at this time. https://t.co/mtEJ4X9dlh pic.twitter.com/h7mXiIWTRN
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) July 19, 2019
President Donald Trump responded to the developments on the White House lawn before departing the White House.
“So, we’re going to be speaking with the U.K.,” Trump said. “And this only goes to show what I am saying about Iran. Trouble. Nothing but trouble. And remember this, the ridiculous agreement made by President Obama expires in a very short period of time, it was a short term agreement.”
The owners of the Stena Impero confirmed the seizure, saying in a statement that the ship “was approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the Strait of Hormuz while the vessel was in international waters.”
“We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north towards Iran,” the owners added.
Fox News reporter Lucas Tomlinson added: “British oil tanker seized by Iran today comes two weeks after British Royal Marines commandeered tanker off Gibraltar authorities said carried oil bound for Syria in violation of EU sanctions. Last week, British warship blocked 3 Iranian vessels from seizing UK-flagged tanker.”
British oil tanker seized by Iran today comes two weeks after British Royal Marines commandeered tanker off Gibraltar authorities said carried oil bound for Syria in violation of EU sanctions. Last week, British warship blocked 3 Iranian vessels from seizing UK-flagged tanker.
— Lucas Tomlinson (@LucasFoxNews) July 19, 2019