Western-led propaganda seeks to pave way for new adventurism

TEHRAN, Aug. 04 (MNA) – A spokesman with the Iranian Armed Forces says conflicting reports about security incidents for ships in the Persian Gulf region are aimed at preparing the ground for new adventurism.

“Conflicting reports published by some Western, Zionist, and Saudi outlets regarding maritime insecurity, hijacking ships, and etc. in the regional waters are a sort of psychological warfare and done to prepare the ground for new adventurism,” Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi said on Wednesday morning.

While helping the conduction of secure maritime traffic, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Armed Forces enjoy complete intelligence over suspicious moves and are in full readiness, he said.

Naval forces of IRGC and Army are ready to help foreign vessels if required, noted the military official.

The British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations initially warned ships Tuesday that “an incident is currently underway” off the coast of Fujairah. Hours later, the authorities said the incident was a “potential hijack,” but provided no further details, according to the Associated Press.

Shipping authority Lloyd’s List and maritime intelligence firm Dryad Global both identified the vessel involved in the incident as Panama-flagged asphalt tanker Asphalt Princess.

Earlier, six oil tankers announced around the same time via their Automatic Identification System trackers that they were “not under command,” according to MarineTraffic.com. That typically means a vessel has lost power and can no longer steer. The reports directly or indirectly blamed Iran for the incidents without providing evidence. 

Earlier, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh described as totally suspicious the reports of successive security incidents involving vessels in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman, warning against any effort to create a vicious atmosphere to pursue certain political goals.

MAH/ 5273267

News Code 176916

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