Iran must immediately release the vessel it seized in the Gulf and its crew
Tension rises after Iranian forces impounded a foreign vessel with a crew of 12 in its territorial waters on Sunday.
“The United States strongly condemns the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy’s continued harassment of vessels and interference with safe passage in and around the Strait of Hormuz,” the spokesperson added in an email to Reuters after Iran said it had seized a foreign tanker smuggling fuel in the Gulf.
“Iran must cease this illicit activity and release the reportedly seized crew and vessel immediately.”
Responding to an announcement by Iran's Revolutionary Guard that it captured a foreign tanker smuggling fuel, the US State Department insisted Iran must free the ship and its crew and stop harassing vessels in and around the Strait of Hormuz.
The US blames Iran for a series of attacks on shipping since mid-May in the world's most important oil artery, accusations Tehran rejects. The incidents have raised fears the long-time foes could stumble into war.