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Source: Reuters

Jul 20, 2023

Iran warns against unloading Iranian oil from seized tanker

DUBAI, July 20 (Reuters) - Iran would retaliate against any oil company unloading Iranian oil from a seized tanker, a senior commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards' navy said on Thursday, amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington.

In April, the U.S. confiscated Iranian oil on a tanker at sea in a sanctions enforcement operation, three sources told Reuters. The tanker was anchored outside the port of Houston, according to ship tracking data on Thursday.

State media cited the Guards' navy commander Alireza Tangsiri as saying that Tehran would hold Washington responsible for allowing the unloading of the tanker's content, without giving further details.

Sources familiar with the matter, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue, had said Washington took control of the oil cargo aboard the Marshall Islands tanker Suez Rajan after securing an earlier court order.

On Monday, the U.S. announced it would send additional F-35 and F-16 fighter jets, along with a warship to the Middle East, in a bid to monitor key waterways in the region following Iran's seizure and harassment of commercial shipping vessels in recent months.

A maritime security firm said Iran had seized a tanker days later in relation after the incident in April.

Reporting by Dubai Newsroom; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Alison Williams

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