iran Korea tanker Arabian gulf
A seized South Korean-flagged tanker is escorted by Iranian Revolutionary Guard boats in the Arabian Gulf. Illustrative image. Image Credit: AP file

DUBAI: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards seized a tanker holding 900 metric tonnes of “smuggled fuel” and 12 crew members based on a court order, a report by the semi-official Fars news agency said on Friday.

“A vessel carrying 900 tonnes of smuggled fuel with 12 crew members was seized by the Revolutionary Guards’ Navy patrol vessels in the Arabian Gulf with a court order,” Fars news reported from Iran’s southern port of Bandar Abbas.

No further detail about the ship has been given.

Iran, which has some of the world’s cheapest fuel prices due to heavy subsidies and the plunge in the value of its national currency, has been fighting rampant fuel smuggling by land to neighbouring countries and by sea to Gulf Arab states.

British maritime security company Ambrey said on Thursday it was aware of an attempted seizure by Iranian forces of a small Tanzanian flagged tanker, around 59 nautical miles northeast of the Saudi Arabian port city of Dammam.