Oil tankers pass through Strait of Hormuz (archive)
Oil tankers pass through Strait of Hormuz (archive)Reuters

Iran’s military seized a foreign tanker in the Strait of Hormuz Thursday, Iranian media outlets reported.

While the ship was not identified, nor its country of origin revealed, the Iranian Fars outlet reported that the ship had a crew of 12, who were taken captive by Iranian military forces.

The ship was carrying one million liters of oil at the time of its capture, Fars said, half of its 2 million liter capacity.

Tehran accused the oil tanker of “smuggling” fuel through the Strait of Hormuz – a crucial international waterway used for transporting roughly one-fifth of the world’s oil fuel.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards are said to have intercepted the ship just south of the Iranian island of Larak, in the Strait of Hormuz.

“A foreign vessel smuggling 1m liters of fuel in the Larak Island of the Persian Gulf has been seized,” the Fars report claimed. “The vessel that Iran towed to its waters after receiving a distress call was later seized with the order from the court as we found out that it was smuggling fuel.”

It is unclear if the vessel is the same ship which Iran earlier this week claimed to have assisted following “technical failure”.

The ship, the MT Riah, a United Arab Emirates ship flying under a Panamanian flag, was reported missing last weekend while traveling through the Strait of Hormuz.