Iranian patrol vessels fired warning shots across the bridge of a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo vessel that was traversing the Strait of Hormuz in Iranian territorial waters, a Pentagon official said Tuesday.
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The comment came after a Saudi report by al-Arabiya claimed Tehran had captured a US ship and detained 34 soldiers aboard.
Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said the cargo ship’s master had initially refused an Iranian order to move further into Iranian waters, but after the warning shots were fired the MV Maersk Tigris complied.
Warren said the cargo ship has been boarded by Iranians, but no one has been injured and no Americans are involved.
Warren said the cargo ship issued a distress call and the US Naval Forces Central Command, based in the area, sent a US destroyer and an aircraft to the area of the incident to monitor the situation.
The al-Arabiya report claimed the ship was taken to the southern port of Bandar Abbas and the crew members detained.
According to a report in Tehran’s semi-official Fars news agency, the Iranian Navy “confiscated the American trade vessel” because it was “trespassing” in Iran’s territorial waters.
The Fars report did not cite any sources and there was no official confirmation from Iran.