Tehran Cites 'Commercial Dispute' as U.S. Says Iran Forced Cargo Ship to Iranian Port

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Iran said a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship was ordered to dock in its Gulf port of Bandar Abbas on Tuesday because of a commercial dispute.

U.S. defence officials said at least five Iranian ships demanded that the Maersk Tigris head towards Iran's Larak Island while it was in the Straight of Hormuz.

"The ship confiscation order was issued by a court and is linked to the Maersk company," Hadi Haghshenas of the Iran Ports and Maritime Organization was quoted as saying by the Tasnim news agency.

"Generally speaking, if a shipping company has debts and does not pay, the owners of the goods turn to the competent authorities," he said.

The Fars news agency, citing "an informed source", reported that the ship "had a dispute with the Iranian port administration, which obtained a court order to impound" it.

Tasnim said the Maersk Tigris was headed for Shahid-Bahonar, part of Iran's port complex at Bandar Abbas.

Iranian state television said sailors from Britain, Bulgaria, Myanmar and Romania make up the 24-strong crew, under the command of a Bulgarian.

Earlier, Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steven Warren said the captain "declined" the demand to alter course and one Iranian naval vessel "fired shots" across the bow of the Maersk Tigris.

It then "complied with the Iranian demand and proceeded into Iranian waters in the vicinity of Larak Island," he said.

The U.S. military's Central Command ordered a naval destroyer to the area and military aircraft were monitoring the situation, Warren said.

The destroyer was directed "to proceed at best speed to the nearest location of the Maersk Tigris", he said.

The incident occurred at about 0900 GMT in the Strait of Hormuz in Iranian territorial waters.

It came amid heightened tensions in the region as Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies wage a campaign of air strikes in Yemen against Iranian-backed Huthi rebels.

The United States is providing intelligence and aerial refueling for the Saudi-led coalition.

Iran regularly boards fishing boats accused of violating its territorial waters.

In 2013, the navy held for a month the Indian-government owned tanker MT Desh Shanti that Iran said had polluted Gulf waters.

But at the time, media reports in India suggested Iran may have detained the ship out of "displeasure" because it was carrying crude oil from rival Iraq.

Comments 11
Thumb justin 28 April 2015, 18:48

lol what a bunch of pirates these iranians are intercepting a commercial cargo vessel.

Thumb marcus 28 April 2015, 19:12

those clowns will release the U.S ship in no time otherwise they will be bombed into oblivion.

Thumb galaxy 28 April 2015, 20:11

أعلنت إيران أنها أفرجت عن السفينة الأميركية ولم تعتقل أيا من أفراد طاقمها، مضيفة ألا “خلفية عسكرية أو سياسية لحادث السفينة”.

Thumb kanaanljdid 28 April 2015, 20:51

FT, Mystic and Southern the qarasineh are playing Johny Deep in the Carabean Sea

Missing ArabDemocrat.com 28 April 2015, 23:16

You forgot the Omani part!!!

Missing ArabDemocrat.com 28 April 2015, 23:18

Of course, there is the issue of the three Arab islands occupied by Iran: Greater Tanab, Lesser Tanab and Abu Mussa.

Thumb geha 29 April 2015, 08:58

these iranians are pirates.

Thumb whyaskwhy 29 April 2015, 10:02

Another way for the US to gain more weight in the region lol the 5th fleet is gleaming from ear to ear at this point. I guess we should not be surprised by the liberal response from the whitehouse. The next president we hope will be more of a manager this this BS opus.

Default-user-icon mahdi firuz berhouz (Guest) 29 April 2015, 12:00

hahaha! i love how you teach them maritime laws, navigation and google maps. My boss agrees with you that if you have a commercial dispute with a shipping company you go out to international waters and hijack their ships. Somesingly anazar flamesrower!

Thumb _mowaten_ 29 April 2015, 12:55

lol so much hysteria here, iran is really a shard in your eyes ya bunch of hasbara shills.

Missing peace 29 April 2015, 15:12

mooowaten and FT still here to defend iranian interests more than they will ever do for lebanese ones....