White House condemns Iran's seizure of Portuguese-flagged cargo ship

“We call on Iran to release the vessel & its international crew immediately,” National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement. “It must be condemned unequivocally, & we will work with our partners to hold Iran to account for its actions.” 

State news agency IRNA reported that the Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Navy seized the Portuguese-flagged MSC Aries, which is being “directed back to Iranian territorial waters.” According to IRNA, the vessel is managed by the Zodiac Maritime, a company linked to Israeli businessman Eyal Ofer.

Tensions are already high after Iran warned it would retaliate for a suspected Israeli strike on its consulate in Syria earlier this month.

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