Iran guards seize S Korean tanker amid US tensions

6 January, 2021 12:00 AM printer

TEHRAN: Iran said Monday its Revolutionary Guards had seized a South Korean-flagged tanker in Gulf waters for breaking “environmental laws”, at a time of heightened tensions with the United States, reports AFP.

South Korea demanded the release of the Hankuk Chemi and its multinational crew of 20 and deployed an anti-piracy unit to the area, close to the strategic Straits of Hormuz.

The Guards said on their Sepahnews website that the ship carrying 7,200 tonnes of oil chemical products “was seized by our force’s (navy) this morning”.

“This tanker was headed from Saudi Arabia’s Al Jubail port and was seized due to the repeated infringement of maritime environmental laws,” it added.

South Korea’s deputy foreign minister was due to visit Tehran in the coming days, according to Iranian officials, who want South Korea to release billions in assets held because of US sanctions.