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Business News/ News / World/  Iran seizes ship linked to Israeli billionaire amid escalating tensions | Watch video
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Iran seizes ship linked to Israeli billionaire amid escalating tensions | Watch video

Iran's Revolutionary Guards seized a container ship linked to an Israeli billionaire on Saturday.

This image made from a video provided to The Associated Press by a Mideast defense official shows a helicopter raid targeting a vessel near the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday, April 13, 2024. A video seen by The Associated Press shows commandos raiding a ship near the Strait of Hormuz by helicopter Saturday, an attack a Mideast defense official attributed to Iran amid wider tensions between Tehran and the West. The Mideast defense official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters. (AP Photo) (AP)Premium
This image made from a video provided to The Associated Press by a Mideast defense official shows a helicopter raid targeting a vessel near the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday, April 13, 2024. A video seen by The Associated Press shows commandos raiding a ship near the Strait of Hormuz by helicopter Saturday, an attack a Mideast defense official attributed to Iran amid wider tensions between Tehran and the West. The Mideast defense official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters. (AP Photo) (AP)

A ship linked to Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer was seized by Iran on Saturday near the Strait of Hormuz. The UK Maritime Trade Operations received reports that a vessel had been seized by “regional authorities" close to the Emirati port city of Fujairah. Meanwhile Iranian state media said the ship — identified as the Portuguese-flagged MSC Aries — had now been "directed towards the territorial waters" of Tehran.

“A container ship named 'MCS Aries' was seized by the Sepah Navy Special Forces by carrying out a heliborne operation," the IRNA news agency reported.

 

On Tuesday the naval head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Alireza Tangsiri said it could close the Strait of Hormuz if deemed necessary.

Visuals accessed by news agency AP show commandos rappelling down onto a stack of containers sitting on the deck of the vessel. A crew member on the ship could be heard urging others to not come out. He then tells his colleagues to go to the ship's bridge as more commandos come down on the deck. One commando can be seen kneeling above the others to provide them potential cover fire.

MSC Aries is a container ship associated with London-based Zodiac Maritime — a company that is part of the Zodiac Group led by Ofer. The vessel was last located off Dubai as it headed towards the Strait of Hormuz on Friday. It had turned off tracking data — now a common practice for Israeli-affiliated ships moving through the region.

US officials said that they were aware of the updates reported by UKMTO and other agencies and continued to monitor the situation. The developments come amid escalating tensions with Israel and the looming promise of a retaliatory attack from Iran. Seven Revolutionary Guards officers, including two senior commanders, had been killed on April 1 amid Israeli airstrikes on its consulate in Syria.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 13 Apr 2024, 04:20 PM IST
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