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Iranian Forces Take Over Israeli-Linked Cargo Ship

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards took over a cargo ship tied to Israel in the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday, according to Reuters.

The Guards seized Portuguese-flagged MSC Aries, which it claimed was linked to Israel, Reuters reported, citing Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency. MSC also confirmed the ship had been taken by Iranian forces and stated that it was working “with the relevant authorities” on the matter.

The company leased the vessel from Gortal Shipping, which is an affiliate of Zodiac Maritime that is partially owned by Eyal Ofer, an Israeli businessman, according to Reuters.

Footage of the reported takeover shows a helicopter dropping several individuals off on the cargo ship’s deck as some of the 25 total crew members talk in the background, according to the Associated Press.

An Israeli airstrike in Syria killed Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Mohammad-Reza Zahedi in April. Iranian officials threatened to retaliate after the strike.

Alireza Tangsiri, the naval head of the Revolutionary Guards, said earlier this week that Iran would close the Strait of Hormuz entirely if they felt it was necessary, according to Reuters.

“Iran will bear consequences for choosing to escalate this situation any further,”  Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, Israel’s military spokesperson, said in a statement following reports of Iran’s actions, according to Reuters.

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