Iran seizes Korean oil tankers in the Gulf

Iran has taken responsibility for the seizure of an oil tanker used to transport petroleum products and chemicals after the ship entered its territorial waters. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps selected the South Korean flagged Hankuk Chemi at 10:00 am Iran time “for repeated violations of marine environmental laws,” the IRGC said in a statement. What follows is a series of security incidents in the Gulf region in which several ships have been attacked in the past few years amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The tanker was carrying 7,200 tons of petrochemicals from Jubail to Saudi Arabia when Iran intercepted them, the IRGC said. The guardhouse brought the ship to the port of Bandar Abbas in Iran, the semi-official Fars news agency reported. The Tasnim News Agency previously reported that Iran had seized the tanker for “environmental and chemical pollution in the Gulf,” citing people with knowledge of the matter. Crew members from Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar were arrested, Tasnim said.