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Israeli army warns of 'consequences' of escalating tensions after Iran captures ship off UAE coast
Image Credit: Video grab

Israeli army warns of 'consequences' of escalating tensions after Iran captures ship off UAE coast

| @indiablooms | 13 Apr 2024, 09:31 pm

Tel Aviv: Israel's army has warned Iran of “consequences” of escalating the conflict in the region after Iran's Revolutionary Guards on Saturday held a container ship "related to the Zionist regime (Israel) in the Gulf," media reports said.

"Iran will bear the consequences for choosing to escalate the situation any further," military spokesman Daniel Hagari said in a statement.

Vessel tracking websites, such as vesselfinder.com and marinetraffic.com, have identified the MSC Aries as a container ship flying the Portuguese flag. Its data indicates that the ship’s most recent reported position was in the Gulf.

The Strait of Hormuz connects the Gulf with the Indian Ocean and, according to the US Energy Information Administration, more than a fifth of annual global oil consumption passes through it each year.

A video shared on social media appeared to show people descending from a helicopter onto the deck of the Aries using a rope.

Ship's operator MSC confirmed that the Aries had been boarded by Iranian authorities via helicopter as it passed through the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday morning, news agency AFP reported.

According to the statement by MCS, there were 25 crew members aboard, and added that MSC was  "working closely with the relevant authorities to ensure their wellbeing and safe return of the vessel".

According to state news agency IRNA, a container ship was seized by the Sepah (Guards) Navy Special Forces through a heliborne operation, identifying it as the MSC Aries. The operation occurred "near the Strait of Hormuz," and the vessel has since been directed towards Iran's territorial waters.

Iran’s state media state media IRNA said, "A container ship named 'MCS Aries' was seized by the Sepah (Guards) Navy Special Forces by carrying out a heliborne operation.”

The operation, it stated, occurred "near the Strait of Hormuz," a strategic passage between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman crucial for global trade. The vessel has since been directed towards the territorial waters of Iran.

The Strait of Hormuz is a vital link between the Gulf and the Indian Ocean, facilitating the passage of over a fifth of the world's annual oil consumption, as per the US Energy Information Administration.

A video circulating on social media seemed to show some people descending from a helicopter onto the deck of the Aries via a rope.

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