The significant strait of Hormuz came under stress after Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on Thursday released the first visuals of the seizure of the ship "smuggling" fuel, a day after UAE vessel goes missing, near the Persian Gulf at the time when US-Iran are feared to be at the brink of war.
The dramatic footage shows multiple Iranian patrol boats circling the vessel amid the gulf, in an attempt to stop the tanker from moving.
The Iranian station said, 'A foreign vessel smuggling 1m litres of fuel in the Larak Island of the Persian Gulf has been seized. The vessel that Iran towed to its waters after receiving a distress call was later seized with the order from the court as we found out that it was smuggling fuel.'
Another video released by the Iranian news channel showed the details of the seized vessel. IRGC said that the incidence occurred n the northern part of the Strait of Hormuz and the vessel had 12 members on board.
Iranian footage showed the seized tanker marked as "Riah" and "Panama", had gone missing on July 14.
The US has demanded Iran for an immediate release of the vessel, threatening for 'aggressive' consequences to ensure the free passage of vessels through the crucial oil route.
The strait is at the mouth of the Persian Gulf and serves as the passageway for a fifth of all global crude exports; a clash there highlights the risk of war between Iran and the US.
Also in the past weeks, the Persian Gulf region has seen six attacks on oil tankers that the US has blamed on Iran and a tense encounter between Iran's Revolutionary Guard and the British navy. Iran has denied involvement in the attacks or the British naval encounter.