Iranian fighter jet crashes near Persian Gulf

Iranian fighter jet crashes near Persian Gulf

Iranian fighter jet crashes near Persian Gulf

The crash came amid recent tensions in the Gulf between the U.S. and Iran, as well as after the latter announced earlier Sunday it had captured a foreign tanker it said was smuggling fuel to an unnamed Arab state in the region.

Iran has reportedly seized another foreign ship in the Gulf, claiming that it was smuggling 70,000 litres of oil to Arab states.

A Guards commander was cited as saying that the ship was carrying 700,000 liters (185,000 gallons) of fuel when it was seized, close to the barren Farsi island. "Seven sailors onboard of the tanker, who are from different nationalities, were detained".

Iran has seized a "foreign vessel" in the Gulf, state media said on Sunday, in what would be the third such seizure in a month amid heightened tensions with its foe the United States.

Al Jazeera's Dorsa Jabbari reports from Tehran.

He added: 'The seizure of the oil tanker was in coordination with Iran's judiciary authorities and based on their order'.

Iran is still holding a British-flagged tanker it captured in the Strait of Hormuz for alleged marine violations.

Also last month, Iran seized British-flagged tanker the Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz, saying it had collided with a fishing vessel.

In July, British forces seized an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar, accused it of violating sanctions on Syria. But it faces severe economic damage under intensified USA sanctions created to strangle its vital oil trade.

The US has also blamed Tehran for sabotage attacks on several other tankers in and around the Gulf during a standoff that saw Washington nearly launch airstrikes on Iranian territory.

European parties to the deal - Britain, France and Germany - have instead appealed for diplomatic moves to defuse the crisis and have been trying to salvage the pact by exploring ways to shield Iran's economy from US sanctions. Tehran called the seizure an act of piracy and warned that it would retaliate.

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