The Iranian navy seizes an Israel-linked container ship

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Iran’s Revolutionary Guards seized an Israeli-linked container ship in a helicopter operation near the Strait of Hormuz, state news agency IRNA reported, with tensions already high after Iran warned it would retaliate for a suspected Israeli strike on its consulate in Syria.
Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has confirmed the seizure, saying there are 25 crew on board.
Portugal’s government said that it was in touch with the Iranian authorities.
The Strait of Hormuz, at the northern end of the Gulf of Oman, is the biggest oil chokepoint in the world.
About 20% of the world’s daily consumption of oil passes through it every day.
In January, Tehran seized an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman and transferred it to an Iranian port in response to the United States confiscating the same vessel and its oil last year.
The United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary, David Cameron, wrote on social media platform X that he had spoken with Israeli war cabinet minister Benny Gantz.
The two discussed their “shared concerns about Iranian threats to attack Israel,” Cameron wrote, adding that “further escalation in the region is in no-one’s interest and risks further loss of civilian life.”

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Tensions are already high after Iran threatened to retaliate for a suspected Israeli strike on its consulate in Syria. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards captured an Israeli-linked container ship in a helicopter operation near the Strait of Hormuz, according to state news agency IRNA.

The Portuguese-flagged MSC Aries was taken over by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Navy, according to IRNA, and is currently being “directed back to Iranian territorial waters.”. “.

IRNA reports that Zodiac Maritime, a company associated with Israeli businessman Eyal Ofer, is in charge of managing the vessel.

The 25 crew members on board have been confirmed by Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) as a result of the seizure. The Portuguese government announced that it was communicating with the Iranian authorities.

The largest oil chokepoint in the world is located at the northern end of the Gulf of Oman, at the Strait of Hormuz. It processes about 20 percent of the oil consumed daily worldwide.

Similar seizures have previously occurred in Iran. Following the United States’ confiscation of the same vessel and its oil last year, Tehran took control of an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman in January and moved it to an Iranian port.

Against the backdrop of the Gaza conflict, tensions in the region have escalated following the attack on Iran’s consulate in the Syrian capital of Damascus, which resulted in the deaths of seven officials, including a senior IRGC commander.

Hezbollah and Israel have been in regular contact along Lebanon’s southern border, while the Houthi rebels in Yemen, who are supported by Iran, have been regularly attacking shipping in the Red Sea region.

The United States currently anticipates that Iran will strike several targets inside Israel, and that, according to sources, Iranian proxies may also be involved in carrying out the attacks, which would represent a significant escalation.

US President Joe Biden attempted to issue a harsh public warning once more on Friday, predicting that Iran would launch attacks “sooner rather than later” and stating that his message to Tehran was to “don’t.”. “.

Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Daniel Hagari issued a warning in a video statement on Saturday, stating that Israel was on “high alert” for “Iranian aggression.”. “.

European officials issued a warning against an increase in hostilities between Iran and Israel.

David Cameron, the foreign secretary of the United Kingdom, posted on social media site X that he had a conversation with Benny Gantz, the Israeli war cabinet minister.

Further escalation in the region is in no one’s interest and risks further loss of civilian life, Cameron wrote, adding that the two talked about their “shared concerns about Iranian threats to attack Israel.”. “.

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