According to a developing story by Al Arabiya News,
“Iran has fired at a U.S. cargo ship and has directed it to Bandar Abbas port on the southern coast of Iran, reported on Tuesday.
Up to 34 American sailors are believed to be onboard the ship.”
BBC has reported that, “American officials have denied media reports that a US cargo ship had been seized by the Iranian navy.”
“However, the Pentagon spokesman said the vessel involved was flagged to the Marshall Islands and that no Americans were on board.
The MV Maersk Tigris was moving through the Straits of Hormuz, according to the Pentagon.”
The MV Maersk is registered in the Marshall Islands and according to the Times of Israel, Iranian patrol vessels fired warning shots at the cargo vessel as it was traversing the Strait of Hormuz in Iranian territorial waters.
“Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said the cargo ship’s master had initially refused an Iranian order to move further into Iranian waters, but after the warning shots were fired the MV Maersk Tigris complied.”
“Warren said the cargo ship has been boarded by Iranians, but no one has been injured and no Americans are involved.”
“Warren said the cargo ship issued a distress call and the US Naval Forces Central Command, based in the area, sent a US destroyer and an aircraft to the area of the incident to monitor the situation.”
According to Vessil Finder, the ship is scheduled to arrive in Jebel Ali, a port city in the United Arab Emirates at 21:30. The ship’s last reported port call was on Apr 21, 2015 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, but it’s current position is being tracked off the coast of Iran.
Col. Steven Warren said, “After receiving a distress signal from the cargo ship, Naval Forces Central Command dispatched the destroyer Farragut to proceed at best speed to the location of the Maersk and has sent a single maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft to observe the situation.”