Iranian troops "seize Chinese tanker by mistake"

Apr 16 2020

According to a UK Times article, marines from Iran's Revolutionary Guard may have seized a tanker at the entrance to the Gulf on Tuesday night (Apr 14), and released her after finding she was Chinese.

Security firm Dryad Global said the vessel, SC TAIPEI IMO 9175535, was flagged in Hong Kong, and boarded by armed men while at anchor. The vessel was taken to Iranian waters.

"The vessel is understood to have a crew of 22 personnel. All are believed to be Chinese nationals. The vessel was understood to be at anchor in an in-ballast condition and awaiting orders to approach al-Jubail in Saudi Arabia," Dryad said.

" While Beijing is not responsible for Hong Kong vessels, there is a realistic possibility that China would view the detention of a Hong Kong vessel as a proxy assault on its own sovereignty. At a time when China still buys Iranian oil, and Iran has few international friends, such a move would be highly irregular, and would not further Iran’s interests."

Times article (needs subscription)
Dryad article

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