U.S. strongly condemns Iran’s seizure of containership

(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. State Department has strongly condemned Iran’s seizure of a containership, MSC Aries, near the Strait of Hormuz and urged Tehran to immediately release the vessel and its crew, VOA News reported.

A State Department representative told VOA’s Persian Service that the vessel, flying the Portuguese flag and owned by Britain, was seized in “international waters,” and its crew consists of nationals from India, the Philippines, Pakistan, Russia and Estonia.

In a screen shot taken from video, an Iranian commando rappels from a helicopter Saturday in a raid on MSC Aries in the Strait of Hormuz. Reuters/VOA News photo

Saturday’s seizure of a non-military vessel, even without any provocation on its part, is deemed a “blatant violation of international laws” and “piracy” by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), classified as a “foreign terrorist organization,” said the representative.

The state news agency IRNA reported Saturday that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had seized an “Israel-linked ship” in the Strait of Hormuz.

International shipping company Zodiac Maritime said in a statement that MSC is the manager and commercial operator of the vessel seized Saturday by Iranian authorities.


By Professional Mariner Staff