Oil tanker in the Persian Gulf (archive)
Oil tanker in the Persian Gulf (archive)iStock

Iran seized an oil tanker in the Persian Gulf Monday, after Tehran claimed the ship was smuggling fuel.

Mojtaba Ghahremani, the judiciary chief in Iran’s Hormozgan province, told Tasnim Monday morning that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had taken control of a vessel carrying 11 million liters of “smuggled” fuel.

"The navy of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has seized a foreign tanker carrying 11 million liters of smuggled fuel."

No details regarding the identity of the vessel or which nation’s flag it was flying under have been released thus far.

Ghahremani added that the captain and crew of the vessel have been taken into custody.

With the decline of Iran’s currency, the rial, and subsequent fall in prices, smugglers have sought to sneak fuel out of the Islamic republic, selling it to Persian Gulf states which can then export the oil.

In recent months, Iran’s military has cracked down on fuel smuggling.

Last month, Iran claimed it had captured a vessel sailing under a foreign flag while carrying 757,000 liters of smuggled fuel.