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Iran’s IRGC, Intelligence Ministry seize foreign ship in Persian Gulf for smuggling diesel, arrest all seven crew members

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)
Forces from Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps are seen on the second day of the large-scale Great Prophet 17 joint drills in southern Iran, on December 21, 2021. (Photo by Tasnim news agency)

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and Intelligence Ministry have seized a foreign vessel for smuggling thousands of liters of diesel in the Persian Gulf region and arrested the entire crew members, the commander of the IRGC Navy’s second command zone says.

General Ramezan Zirahi said on Saturday that in a joint operation, the IRGC Navy and forces of the intelligence department of Iran's southern province of Bushehr had confiscated the foreign vessel carrying 757,000 liters of diesel out of the country.

He added that the vessel intended to deliver the smuggled cargo to other countries but was seized 60 miles off the coast of Iran.

The IRGC commander noted that the vessel's seven crew members, who are foreign nationals, have been handed over to judicial authorities.

Zirahi said the campaign against organized smuggling of fuel is among priorities of the IRGC Navy in order to support national production and a dynamic economy.

According to the commander, the IRGC naval forces have confiscated 1,555,000 liters of diesel in the Persian Gulf since the beginning of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21). They have also arrested 44 smugglers and handed them over to judicial officials.

Mojtaba Qahramani, head of the Justice Department of Iran’s southern province of Hormozgan, said in April that the IRGC Navy forces had seized a foreign vessel carrying 220,000 liters of smuggled fuel in Parsian County, south of Hormozgan Province.

The IRGC's Navy has foiled several attacks on both Iranian and foreign tankers in high seas as well.

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