Iran runs security in the Strait of Hormuz and will no longer tolerate “maritime offences” there, its foreign minister said on Monday, a day after it seized a second oil tanker near the strategic waterway that it accused of smuggling fuel.
Tanker traffic through the Strait has become a focus for an increasingly tense standoff between Washington and Tehran, into which Britain has also been dragged, and the United States has beefed up its military presence in the Gulf since May.
On Sunday, Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards Corps seized the Iraqi tanker north of the Strait and detained its seven crew, state media reported. Guards commander Ramezan Zirahi was quoted as saying it was carrying 700,000 liters of fuel.
“Iran used to forgo some maritime offences in … (the) Gulf but will never close (its) eyes anymore,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told a televised news conference in Tehran.