In yet another provocation, Iran has reportedly captured a foreign tanker ship that it claims was smuggling oil. Per the Wall Street Journal, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard claimed to have seized the ship carrying 1 million liters (264,172 gallons). The nationality of the ship was not identified and there was no word on the ship’s crew.
The seizure comes weeks after the Trump Administration backed off of a plan to strike Iran in retaliation for shooting down a US drone. It has also been reported in recent weeks that Iran has begun enriching uranium beyond the levels allowed by President Obama’s executive deal. President Trump canceled the deal in May 2018.
Iran has attempted to attack other ships recently. Last week, the British navy prevented Iranian vessels from blocking a UK-flagged tanker.
Iran’s most recent move puts it directly on a collision course with the United States. Attacking Persian Gulf shipping increases the chances that the Trump Administration will consider attacking the rogue nation.
Oil prices climbed on the news of Iran’s move. WSJ reported that Brent crude rose 1% to $64.27 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate futures climbed 0.8% to $57.22 a barrel.