Panama admits MT Riah's violation of intl. law

TEHRAN, Jul. 21 (MNA) – Panama has begun the process of withdrawing the registration of an oil tanker called MT Riah, which was reported to have disappeared when passing through the Strait of Hormuz on July 14, the country's maritime authority said on Saturday.

Panama began the flag withdrawal process on Friday after an investigation determined the tanker had "deliberately violated international regulations," the authority said in a statement, according to Xinhua news agency.

"We roundly condemn the use of Panamanian flagged ships for illicit activities," the authority said.

Although Tehran did not name the vessel, the Riah is the only ship that appeared to be active in that region during the time. The mystery at sea has added to high tensions in the Persian Gulf.

It is not clear which country or company owns and operates the Riah.

Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) announced on Thursday its naval units had captured a foreign tanker smuggling fuel in an area to the south of the Iranian Larak Island in the Persian Gulf near the Strait of Hormuz.

KI/PR

News Code 147909

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