The United States has denied claims by Iran that the U.S. Navy attempted to seize a Vietnamese-flagged oil tanker in the Sea of Oman.
Fars News Agency, managed by Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corp (IRGC), claimed on Nov. 3 that IRGC naval forces thwarted the U.S. Navy last week from attempting to “steal” an Iranian oil cargo.
The Iranian news outlet further claimed that U.S. forces attempted to block the oil tanker “by more warships and helicopters.”
Fars News Agency also uploaded on Twitter a series of videos of the alleged incident that came as the latest in the heavily trafficked seaway.
At a press briefing, Defense Press Secretary John Kirby called the Iranian claims “absolutely, totally false and untrue.”
Kirby said that the incident Iran was referring to took place on Oct. 24, and he claimed that “the only seizing that was done was by Iran.”
Kirby said that U.S. Navy directed two ships and aerial assets to closely monitor Iranian forces that were “illegally boarding and seizing a merchant vessel in international waters in the Gulf of Oman.”
“We acted completely in accordance with the law. So, it’s a bogus claim,” Kirby said.
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