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The saga of the UAE "mystery" tanker which seems to have disappeared after its transponder went dark late Saturday night, and which no one has heard from since it drifted toward Iranian waters in the Strait of Hormuz over the weekend, has deepened after Iran contradicted US media reports of IRGC involvement.
The semi-official news agency ISNA said hours after initial reports on Tuesday suggested Iran's military "forced" the vessel into Iranian waters that Iranian navy vessels actually came to the assistance of the disabled foreign oil tanker. The statement indicated the vessel was partially disabled and in desperate need of repairs.
Spokesman - Abbas - Mousavi - Oil - Tanker
"(Spokesman) Abbas Mousavi said... that an international oil tanker was in trouble due to a technical fault in the Persian Gulf... After receiving a request for assistance, Iranian forces approached it and used a tugboat to pull it toward Iranian waters for the necessary repairs to be carried out," ISNA said, as cited by Reuters.
The AP reported how it all started over the weekend:
Data - Shows - Oil - Tanker - United
Tracking data shows an oil tanker based in the United Arab Emirates traveling through the Strait of Hormuz drifted off into Iranian waters and stopped transmitting its location over two days ago, raising concerns Tuesday about its status amid heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S.
The report detailed that the Riah, a 58-meter oil tanker which operates frequently in the region, switched off its transponder for the first time in three months after 11pm on Saturday, based on tracking data.
Monday - Flags - US - Officials - Riah
As of Monday "red flags" were raised as US officials began inquiring of the Riah's status....
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