IRGC Confirms Foreign Oil Tanker Seizure With 12 Crew On Board

In its latest campaign to escalate tensions with the west, Iran confirmed it seized a foreign oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, according to Iran’s state television Thursday. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard seized the vessel with 12 crew members on board Sunday. The IRGC believed the tanker was used to smuggle Iranian oil. The waterway connects the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea providing a strategic access point for oil exportation, the only access point to the open Sea.

Earlier this month, the IRGC attempted a seizure of a British Oil Tanker, however the effort was unsuccessful after a British war ship intercepted the Iranian vessels, a senior U.S. defense official told Fox News. On April 15, the State Department designated the IRGC a “Foreign Terrorist Organization” for exporting terrorism across the globe and creating regional tensions. The U.S. also instituted longtime sanctions against the group for emboldening the regime’s nuclear program.

President Trump pulled out of the failed Iran Nuclear deal instituted by the Obama Administration in 2015. Despite the clear terms of the agreement, Iran continued to enrich large quantities of Uranium, thus, violating it. As part of the U.S. sanctions campaign against Iran, the Trump Administration said it plans to sanction Iranian oil buyers.  Last month, the theocratic regime was responsible for the downing of an unmanned U.S. drone. President Trump acted swiftly, however, the plans for strikes on Iran were called off in the eleventh hour.