Middle East

US military 'monitoring' Iran ship seizure

An Iranian warship in the Straits of Hormuz (file pic) Image copyright AP
Image caption The incident happened in the Straits of Hormuz, according to the Pentagon (file image of Iranian warship)

Pentagon officials say the US is monitoring the seizure by Iran of a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship.

The MV Maersk Tigris was moving through Iranian waters in the Straits of Hormuz, according to the Pentagon.

Iranian patrol vessels fired warning shots across the bow of the boat, US officials said, branding the action "inappropriate".

A US naval destroyer has been ordered to the region to "monitor" the situation.

After the warning shots, the ship complied with orders to go deeper into Iranian waters, a Pentagon spokesman said.

The ship was in an area recognised as an international shipping lane, he went on.

US aircraft were ordered to the area to "observe the interaction" between the Maersk vessel and Iranian forces.

There are no reports of any injuries.

Initial media reports suggested the vessel was a US cargo ship but US officials denied this and said no Americans were on board.

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