Washington confirmed Friday earlier reports that it had seized Iranian tankers believed to be carrying a multimillion-dollar fuel shipment to Venezuela.
“These actions represent the government’s largest-ever seizure of fuel shipments from Iran,” a statement from the US Justice Department said.
According to the statement, four vessels were seized and close to 1.116 million barrels of petroleum were on board. The US said that the tankers are now in US custody after working with “foreign partners.”
Iran’s navy seized a ship in the Arabian Gulf on Wednesday, and it appears, according to the Department of Justice, that this was “an apparent attempt to recover the seized petroleum, but was unsuccessful.”
Wednesday’s incident took place near the Strait of Hormuz, and the ship was eventually released by Iranian forces, Reuters cited an unnamed US official as saying.
The case of the seized tankers is being handled by the National Security Division and the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, the US said.