Iran Forces Open Fire On, Seize "Trespassing"US Cargo Ship With 34 People On Board, Arabiya Reports

Update 3: Turns out Iran did seize a ship, just not a US ship:

  • PENTAGON SAYS NO US SHIP WAS SEIZED BY IRAN
  • NON-U.S. SHIP MAY HAVE BEEN SEIZED BY IRAN, U.S. OFFICIAL SAYS
  • IRANIAN MILITARY BOARDED MARSHALL ISLANDS-FLAGGED CARGO SHIP
  • IRANIANS BOARDED MV MAERSK TIGRIS CARGO SHIP: PENTAGON

Update 2: Curiously, while we were confident Iran would deny the report first, it was in fact the US: US NAVY DENIES CONFRONTATION WITH IRANIAN MILITARY: CNBC

The good news is that it will be very easy to confirm who is lying and who is telling the truth, in a matter of hours.

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Update: WHITE HOUSE REFERS COMMENT ON IRAN SHIP CAPTURE TO DEFENSE DEPT

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Moments ago according to the native Twitter feed of al-Arabiya (which is owned by the Saudis), Iranian forces have seized a US cargo ship, which has some 34 American sailors, which they have taken to the port of Bandar Abbas.

Al Arabiya adds that Iran fired on the US cargo ship before escoring it, a move which will surely lead to a rapid and violent escalation in the gulf:

Iran's Farsnews confirms the Arabiya report, stating that "a US cargo ship with 34 crew was stopped and seized by Iranian Navy warships on Tuesday. The Iranian Navy has confiscated the American trade vessel with all its 34 crew for trespassing on Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf."

An Iranian warship is now taking the American vessel to Iran's Southern port city of Bandar Abbas in the Persian Gulf.

 

There has been no official confirmation of the seizure yet.

It is unclear why Iran would do this and if this is merely yet another Saudi provocation (expect a full denial by Iran), but the US kneejerk reaction may not only scuttle, so to say, any ongoing Iran nuclear negotiations, but led to a far more violent retaliation, which may explain the move in crude if not the move lower in stocks.

After all global war is bullish for risk.

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Just a few hours earlier Iran has demanded that Israel give up its “nuclear weapons”, as it spoke on behalf of the 120-nation Non-Aligned Movement. Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif said the bloc also wants a nuclear free-zone in the Middle East.


According to RT, Mohammad Javad Zarif was speaking at the United Nations for the non-aligned group of countries. Israel has never admitted or denied the widespread assumption it has nuclear weapons. However, Zarif says Israel’s assumed nuclear arsenal was a threat to regional security.

The Iranian Foreign Minister said the non-aligned movement regards Israel’s nuclear program as, “a serious and continuing threat to the security of neighboring and other states, and condemned Israel for continuing to develop and stockpile nuclear arsenals,” according to Reuters.

Israel has not signed up to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), though it has sent an observer to the month long conference for the first time in 20 years.

Zarif added that the non-aligned bloc are looking to create a nuclear free-zone in the Middle East “as a matter of high priority,” which will only be possible, if Israel abandons its nuclear stockpile.

“Israel, [is] the only one in the region that has neither joined the NPT nor declared its intention to do so, (...) renounce possession of nuclear weapons,” AFP cited Zarif as saying.

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For now the reaction is evident in crude prices...

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And here is the latest US naval map update: