Satellite signals suggest Vietnam ship seized by Iran freed

National

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Satellite tracking data and other signals on Wednesday suggested a Vietnamese oil tanker earlier seized by Iran had been freed by the Islamic Republic.

The Sothys left a position off Iran’s Bandar Abbas port and had reached international waters in the nearby Gulf of Oman, the data analyzed by The Associated Press from MarineTraffic.com showed.

Iran did not immediately acknowledge releasing the vessel. Vietnamese officials could not be reached for comment.

Iran’s powerful paramilitary Revolutionary Guard troops on Oct. 24 took control of the MV Sothys, a vessel that analysts suspect of trying to transfer sanctioned Iranian crude oil to Asia. U.S. forces had monitored the seizure but ultimately didn’t take action as the vessel sailed into Iranian waters.

The episode was the latest provocation in Mideast waters as tensions escalate between Iran and the United States over Tehran’s nuclear program.

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