US ‘has suspicions’ Iran seized missing UAE tanker

A US defense official tells The Associated Press that Washington “has suspicions” that Iran seized an oil tanker based in the United Arab Emirates that turned off its tracker over two days ago in the Strait of Hormuz and has gone missing amid rising tensions in the region between the US and Iran.

The official says that the MT Riah is in Iranian territorial waters near Qeshm Island, which has a Revolutionary Guard base on it.

The official says: “Could it have broken down or been towed for assistance? That’s a possibility. But the longer there is a period of no contact, it’s going to be a concern.”

The official says that the boat had yet to contact its owners or UAE authorities.

Iranian officials have threatened to respond to the British seizure of an Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar over suspicions it was carrying oil to Syria in violation of sanctions.

— AP

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