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Iran government source denies Vietnam summoned envoy over tanker seizure

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A government source in Tehran denies reports that Vietnam summoned Iranian envoy over tanker seizure.

An Iranian government source has denied a report claiming that Iran’s ambassador in Vietnam has been summoned in the country over a military incident in the Sea of Oman last month that involved a Vietnamese-flagged oil tanker.

The source told the semi-official Fars news agency on Sunday that there had been “no summoning at all” and that the Iranian envoy in Hanoi had been invited to the Vietnamese foreign ministry for discussions on the confiscation of the tanker by Iranian officials.

Earlier this week, Iran’s elite military force the IRGC released videos of an operation that had taken place on October 25 in which Iranian marine forces came close to a confrontation with US forces in the Sea of Oman over the Vietnamese tanker MV Sothys.

Iranian officials said IRGC forces had boarded the ship which contained a large cargo of Iranian crude because US forces were planning a pirate attack on the tanker.   

Fars described the report by the AFP news agency on summoning of the Iranian envoy in Hanoi as a fabrication.

It reiterated previous reports showing that that Vietnamese officials had been seeking information about the MV Sothys, which has anchored off the southern Iranian coast, adding that Hanoi has been ensured of the safety of the ship’s crew members.

The United States has been involved in a series of attempts on ships carrying Iranian oil since Washington imposed its sanctions on Tehran’s energy trade in 2018.

Oil exports from Iran have increased despite the sanctions with reports suggesting shipments have amounted to nearly 1 million barrels per day on average since late last year.

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