Iranian naval forces have seized a commercial cargo ship in the Strait of Hormuz and are redirecting the vessel to southern Iran, FARS news service reported late Monday.
The ship, the M/V Maersk Tigris, is a Danish vessel flying under the flag of the Marshall Islands. The United States has full authority and responsibility under treaty for the security and defense of the Marshall Islands.
Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps forces intercepted the vessel as it was crossing the waterway on Tuesday morning, according to a senior U.S. military official quoted by CNN. A separate source said shots were fired at the vessel; it was not immediately clear whether anyone was injured on the ship. There are no Americans aboard.
However, the 34 sailors on the vessel are now allegedly heading for the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, according to Al-Arabiya.
Both Iran and the United States have been tight-lipped about the incident thus far. The U.S. Fifth Fleet off the coast of Bahrain had no comment, Reuters reported. Iranian media refused to officially confirm the report.
Iranian officials claim the ship was “trespassing” in the Persian Gulf.
A U.S. official told Reuters there have been no indications that any American vessel is being directed by Iranian forces. The official added the U.S. is still working to clarify the situation.