Cargo ship seized by Iran has no Americans on board but crew is safe

Guy Bentley
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No Americans were aboard vessel seized by Iran, the US said today (Source: Getty)

Rickmers Ship Management, the operator of the MV Maresk Tigris that was boarded by Iranian forces yesterday has said the 24 member crew is safe but they haven't yet determined why the ship was boarded.

"We have had the confirmation that they are in relatively good condition and safe on board the ship," said Rickmers spokesman Cor Radings. The ship is owned by private investors.

The vessel was en route to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas under escort from Iran's navy, according to Rickmers. Iranian forces remain on board after firing several warning shots.

During the incident the US navy dispatched a Destroyer and a plane to the area. Iran has not given any further information on the incident. Original reports from Saudi broadcaster Al Arabiya suggested there were Americans aboard the ship, but Rickmers confirmed there were no Americans on board.

American authorities have denied reports that an American ship with 34 sailors on board was seized by Iranian forces and directed to an Iranian port. Maersk Line said there was no special cargo on the ship and the goods were of an ordinary nature.

Iranian state TV suggested the ship was seized after a court order was issued for unspecified violations. The incident comes at a crucial time for both nations with talks on nuclear disarmament ongoing and a deal "closer than ever", according to US secretary of state John Kerry.

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