Iran seizes new boat near vital oil shipping lane

Iran seizes new boat near vital oil shipping lane
The ship was seized by the IRGC carrying 250,000 liters of fuel near the Strait of Hormuz. (AFP / File Photo)
Updated 16 September 2019

Iran seizes new boat near vital oil shipping lane

Iran seizes new boat near vital oil shipping lane
  • A naval patrol of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps intercepted the vessel carrying 250,000 liters of fuel near the Strait of Hormuz
  • It is the second such seizure this month, after a boat suspected of smuggling fuel was detained, earlier this month

TEHRAN: Iran has seized a boat suspected of being used to smuggle fuel and arrested its 11 crew members near a vital oil shipping lane, state television reported on Monday.
A naval patrol of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps intercepted the vessel carrying 250,000 liters of fuel near the Strait of Hormuz, state TV’s website said, citing a commander of the force.
“This boat was sailing from Bandar Lengeh toward United Arab Emirates waters before it was seized 20 miles (32 kilometers) east of Greater Tunb island,” Brig. Gen. Ali Ozmayi was quoted as saying.
“The boat’s 11 crew members have been arrested,” he added, without saying when it happened or giving their nationality.
State television broadcast footage from the deck of a trawler-sized vessel with open hatches showing tanks full of what appeared to be fuel.
It is the second such seizure this month, after a boat suspected of smuggling fuel was detained and its 12 Filipino crew members arrested in the Strait of Hormuz on September 7.
The news of the latest incident comes with tensions brewing in the Gulf after weekend drone attacks on two major Saudi oil installations that the United States has blamed on Iran.
Arch-enemies Tehran and Washington have been locked in a tense standoff since the US in May 2018 unilaterally pulled out of a multilateral accord that limited the scope of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
The escalation has been accompanied by ships being mysteriously attacked, drones downed and oil tankers seized in the Strait of Hormuz — a chokepoint for a third of world’s seaborne oil.


Yemen’s government vows to mitigate effects of Houthi terrorism designation

Yemen’s government vows to mitigate effects of Houthi terrorism designation
A military vehicle is stationed on the tarmac of Yemen’s Aden airport. Yemen says the Stockholm Agreement has failed to bring peace to the country. (File/AFP)
Updated 46 min 13 sec ago

Yemen’s government vows to mitigate effects of Houthi terrorism designation

Yemen’s government vows to mitigate effects of Houthi terrorism designation
  • International community urged not to surrender to ‘blackmailing and intimidation’ 
  • Stockholm Agreement has failed to bring peace, Yemen PM said

AL-MUKALLA: Yemen’s prime minister has vowed to address any impact on humanitarian assistance or the remittances of citizens abroad following the US move to designate the Iran-backed Houthis as a terrorist organization.

Maeen Abdul Malik Saeed also urged the international community not to surrender to “Houthi blackmailing” and intimidation.
Saeed defended his government’s strong support of the designation during a virtual interview with foreign journalists sponsored by the Sanaa Center for Strategic Studies.
He said that his government had formed a committee to handle any effects on the delivery of humanitarian assistance inside Houthi-controlled areas and the remittances of Yemenis abroad.
“We are determined to prevent any impact of the decision on the Yemenis. We have formed a committee to mitigate effects of the decision,” he said.
When the US announced its intention to designate the Houthi movement as a terrorist organization last week, Yemen’s government quickly urged the US administration to put the decision in place, predicting it would stop Houthi crimes and their looting of humanitarian assistance, and would smoothe the way for peace.
Referring to the impact of the US designation on peace talks between the Yemeni government and the Houthis, Saeed said that the decision would not undermine peace efforts. He said that the Houthis would be accepted as part of the Yemeni political and social spectrum when they abandoned hard-line ideologies and embraced equality and justice.

The Yemeni government agreed to go to Stockholm for reaching a solution to stop fighting and saving the city. This model has failed.

Maeen Abdul Malik Saeed, Yemen’s prime minister

“This is an important pressure card on them and a real definition of them,” he said, adding that the Yemenis would not allow the Houthi movement to rule them.
“Yemen would not be ruled by a racist and terrorist group,” he said.
Formed under the Riyadh Agreement, Yemen’s new government’s ministers narrowly escaped death on Dec. 30 when three precision-guided missiles ripped through Aden airport shortly after their plane touched down.
The government accused the Houthis of staging the attack, saying that missile fragments collected from the airport showed that they were similar to missiles that targeted Marib city in the past.
The prime minister said that the Yemeni government had offered many concessions to reach an agreement to end the war. It had agreed to engage in direct talks with the Houthis in Stockholm in 2018 despite the fact that the Yemeni government forces were about to seize control of the Red Sea city of Hodeidah. However, the Stockholm Agreement had failed to bring peace to Yemen, he said.
“The government forces were about to capture the city within five days maximum. The Yemeni government agreed to go to Stockholm for reaching a solution to stop fighting and saving the city. This model has failed,” Saeed said.
In Riyadh, Yemen’s president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi on Friday appointed Ahmed Obeid bin Daghar, a former prime minister and a senior adviser to the president, as president of the Shoura Council.
Hadi also appointed Ahmed Ahmed Al-Mousai as the country’s new attorney general.
Fighting continues
Heavy fighting between Yemeni government forces and the Houthis broke out on Sunday for the third consecutive day in contested areas in the districts of Hays and Durihimi in the western province of Hodeidah. Official media said that dozens of Houthi rebels and several government troops were killed in the fighting and loyalists pushed back three assaults by Houthis in Durihimi district.
In neighboring Hays, the Joint Forces media said on Sunday that the Houthis hit government forces with heavy weapons before launching a ground attack in an attempt to seize control of new areas in the district.
The Houthis failed to make any gains and lost dozens of fighters along with several military vehicles that were burnt in the fighting, the same media outlets said. Heavy artillery shelling and land mines planted by the Houthis have killed more than 500 civilians since late 2018, local rights groups said.