Iran seizes foreign oil tanker in Strait of Hormuz, state TV reports

TEHRAN — Iran’s Revolutionary Guard forces have seized a foreign oil tanker accusing 12 crew members of smuggling oil, state TV reported on Thursday.

The seizure comes amid heightened tensions between the United States and Iran after President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal — triggering Iran to start rolling back its commitments to the deal, a move Tehran says is reversible if sanctions are removed.

The ship was seized in Larak Island in the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway off Iran’s coast which separates the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, according to broadcaster IRIB. The report added the vessel had been towed after a distress call on Sunday and was later seized for fuel smuggling.

Mosheh Gains, Kurt Chirbas and Associated Press contributed.