Monday, November 29, 2021

Pentagon: Iran’s claim that US tried to seize tanker ‘false’

The Pentagon is rejecting claims by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps that IRGC forces thwarted an attempt by the United States to intercept a tanker carrying Islamic Republic oil in the Sea of ​​Oman.

“I have seen the Iranian claims. They are completely false and untrue,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters on Wednesday.

Kirby said it was Iran’s military that seized and boarded a merchant ship illegally in the Sea of ​​Oman in late October. American forces monitored the situation but never attempted to “recapture” the vessel or engage with Iranian forces.

“Iran’s actions … are a gross violation of international law. It undermines the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce. The only seizure that was made by Iran,” Kirby said.

To support Iran’s claims, Iranian state TV broadcast footage showing a red tanker surrounded by about 10 speedboats, according to Reuters.

‘Unsafe talks’ in the Strait of Hormuz

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Meanwhile, a US official told VOA that several drones, believed to be Iranian, took off in “unsecured talks” with the USS Essex in the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the situation, told the VOA that the drone flew within about 1,500 meters of a US Navy amphibious attack ship.

Tensions between Tehran and Washington run high amid stalled talks on reviving Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. The deal lifted global sanctions in exchange for Tehran reducing its uranium enrichment programme.

Former President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the deal in 2018 and reimposed US sanctions on Iran. Tehran then violated limits on uranium enrichment that had been established by the deal.

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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