Iranian forces boarded the Maersk Tigris container vessel in the Gulf today (28 April), the Pentagon has confirmed.
US Army Colonel, Steve Warren, stated that the Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship initially ignored Iranian patrol boats that ordered it deeper into Iranian territorial waters but complied after the vessels fired several warning shots.
Reuters tracking data showed the 65,000 tonne container ship, off the Iranian coast between the islands of Qeshm and Hormuz. It was listed as sailing from the Saudi port of Jeddah, bound for the United Arab Emirates port of Jebel Ali.
The vessel was intercepted by the Naval force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) at 0905 GMT according to a US government official.
Iran’s state-owned broadcaster, Press TV, said that “the ship had been seized due to legal issues” after reportedly trespassing into Iranian waters.
A Pentagon spokesperson confirmed that there were no US citizens on board the ship.