Oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz. Photo: Marwan Naamani/AFP/Getty Images
Iranian state TV announced Thursday that the country's Revolutionary Guard seized a foreign tanker with 12 crew members onboard in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, accusing the ship of smuggling fuel, per the AP.
The big picture: While the Iranian report did not identify which country the ship belonged to, a U.S. official told the AP that it was likely a small, Panamanian-flagged tanker that operated around the United Arab Emirates and had turned off its tracking equipment on Sunday.
- The seizure comes at a time of heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran in the aftermath of the U.S. exit from the Iran nuclear deal and Iran's increased enrichment of uranium.
- Over the last month, Iran has allegedly attacked and attempted to seize other foreign tankers in the strait — and shot down a U.S. surveillance drone.
- The U.S. — as well as other allies, including the U.K. and Israel — blames Iran for the recent attacks on oil tankers, though Iran has denied the allegations.
This is a developing story. Check back with updates.