Iran seizes new boat near vital oil shipping lane

The ship was seized by the IRGC carrying 250,000 liters of fuel near the Strait of Hormuz. (AFP / File Photo)
Updated 16 September 2019

Iran seizes new boat near vital oil shipping lane

  • A naval patrol of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps intercepted the vessel carrying 250,000 liters of fuel near the Strait of Hormuz
  • It is the second such seizure this month, after a boat suspected of smuggling fuel was detained, earlier this month

TEHRAN: Iran has seized a boat suspected of being used to smuggle fuel and arrested its 11 crew members near a vital oil shipping lane, state television reported on Monday.
A naval patrol of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps intercepted the vessel carrying 250,000 liters of fuel near the Strait of Hormuz, state TV’s website said, citing a commander of the force.
“This boat was sailing from Bandar Lengeh toward United Arab Emirates waters before it was seized 20 miles (32 kilometers) east of Greater Tunb island,” Brig. Gen. Ali Ozmayi was quoted as saying.
“The boat’s 11 crew members have been arrested,” he added, without saying when it happened or giving their nationality.
State television broadcast footage from the deck of a trawler-sized vessel with open hatches showing tanks full of what appeared to be fuel.
It is the second such seizure this month, after a boat suspected of smuggling fuel was detained and its 12 Filipino crew members arrested in the Strait of Hormuz on September 7.
The news of the latest incident comes with tensions brewing in the Gulf after weekend drone attacks on two major Saudi oil installations that the United States has blamed on Iran.
Arch-enemies Tehran and Washington have been locked in a tense standoff since the US in May 2018 unilaterally pulled out of a multilateral accord that limited the scope of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
The escalation has been accompanied by ships being mysteriously attacked, drones downed and oil tankers seized in the Strait of Hormuz — a chokepoint for a third of world’s seaborne oil.


Jordan reopens mosques for socially distanced prayers

Updated 8 min 44 sec ago

Jordan reopens mosques for socially distanced prayers

  • The kingdom is gradually easing restrictions imposed to curb the coronavirus outbreak

AMMAN: Mosques in Jordan opened for communal prayers for the first time in over two months on Friday, with thousands of police deployed to enforce strict social distancing rules at the usually packed places of worship.
The kingdom is gradually easing restrictions imposed to curb the coronavirus outbreak, which killed nine people in Jordan.
From Saturday, cafes and hotels can reopen and domestic flights will resume, although schools, universities and cinemas remain closed and most public gatherings are still banned.
Over 30,000 police were deployed to oversee crowds attending prayers at the country's 7,000 mosques on Friday, officials said.
Worshippers in the predominantly Muslim country were asked to wear masks, limit prayer time and perform the ablution rite, the act of washing the face, arms and legs before prayer, at home. In some mosques, the floor was marked to designate the spots where worshippers could lay down their prayer rugs at a safe distance from their neighbours.
Since a strict lockdown began in mid-March, the authorities have arrested several people, including clerics, for flouting the ban on prayers inside mosques.