The Saudi Al Arabiya TV was first to report that a US cargo ship with a crew of 34 Americans had been fired on by Iran and forced to sail to Bandar Abbas. The Pentagon said US warplanes and the destroyer USS Farragut had responded to the Maersk Tigris cargo vessel’s distress call after being attacked by an Iranian patrol boat in the Strait of Hormuz and are monitoring the situation. Tehran has made no official comment on the incident. The seized vessel was then claimed by various sources, as the New York Stock Exchange fluctuated. The Pentagon denied the vessel was a US cargo ship and that there was an American crew aboard. It was described as a Marshall Islands-flagged ship, which called for US assistance under their defense pact: “The United States has full authority and responsibility under treaty for the security and defense of the Marshall Islands.”
Other sources described the ship as Danish. A Maersk spokesperson told NBC that the ship commandeered by Tehran was on a “time charter” by Rickmers Ship Management which has head offices in Hamburg and Singapore.
But the main mystery is Iran’s motive in seizing the ship, unless it was suspected of spying. Bandar Abbas is the home port of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Maybe they know to whom the ship belongs.