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US confirms Iran’s IRGC seized tanker smuggling fuel in Gulf

The seizure by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps came just a day the US Navy thwarted attempts by Iran's navy to seize two commercial tankers in the Gulf of Oman.
Iranian Revolutionary Guard speedboats cruise past an oil tanker off the port of Bandar Abbas, southern Iran, on July 2, 2012. Iran has come up with several methods to foil the European insurance embargo on ships loaded with its crude, a sanction which may harm its vital exports as much as the EU oil embargo itself. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/GettyImages)

A senior commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said Monday its naval forces seized a tanker smuggling fuel last week in the Persian Gulf waters.

Commander of the IRGC's second naval district Ramezan Zirahi was quoted by Iran’s semi-official Tasnim News Agency as saying the tanker, which he identified as the Nada 2, was carrying smuggled Iranian fuel.

Zirahi said the US military dispatched multiple aircrafts — including A-10s, a P-8 and an MQ-9 drone — as well as two patrol ships to the area in response to the IRGC-N’s attempt to take possession of the ship.

A spokesperson for the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain confirmed the IRGC seizure to Al-Monitor.

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