Iraqi Oil Ministry Says Has No Ties to Oil Tanker Seized by Iran

FILE PHOTO: Iraqi oil minister Thamer Ghadhban. REUTERS/Khalid Al-Mousily/File Photo

CAIRO, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Iraq’s oil ministry said on Sunday it has no connection with an oil tanker seized by Iran in the Persian Gulf for smuggling fuel, Iraqi News Agency reported.

“The ministry does not export diesel to the international market,” the ministry said in a statement.

Iran had said earlier that the tanker sized by its elite forces in the Persian Gulf for allegedly smuggling fuel was an Iraqi ship, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Iraq’s relevant authorities are working to gather information about the seized vessel, the oil ministry statement added.

Two Iraqi port officials said initial information obtained show that the seized “small ship” is owned by a private shipping company which is owned by an Iraqi private trader.

(Reporting by Samar Hassan and Ahmed Rasheed; Editing by Daniel Wallis)