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File photo of embers of the Iranian revolutionary guard marching during a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), in Tehran September 22, 2011. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo
File photo of embers of the Iranian revolutionary guard marching during a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), in Tehran September 22, 2011. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

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TEHRAN, Nov 20 ― Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said today they had seized a foreign ship in Gulf waters loaded with what they described as smuggled diesel.

Guards commander Ahmad Hajian said the ship’s 11 crew had been detained, but did not give details on their nationality or identify the ship.

“After inspection, more than 150,000 litres of smuggled diesel were discovered,” Iran’s state broadcaster quoted Hajian as saying.

The semi-official Fars news agency, which is close to the Revolutionary Guards, released video footage showing speed-boats intercepting a vessel and masked armed Guards boarding it.

Iran, which has some of the world’s cheapest fuel prices due to heavy subsidies and the fall of its national currency as it faces US sanctions, has been fighting fuel smuggling by land to neighbouring countries and by sea to Gulf Arab states.

It has frequently seized boats it says are being used for smuggling fuel in the Gulf.

Hajian said his unit would “deal decisively” with fuel smuggling in the sea to protect Iran’s economy.

Earlier, the official IRNA news agency released a photo of what it said was a “foreign vessel carrying bootleg fuel” seized in the Gulf. ― Reuters


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