SEOUL (AP) – The owners of a vessel seized by Iran say that armed Iranian Revolutionary Guard troops stormed a South Korean tanker the day before and forced the ship to travel to Iran.
The military raid on Monday on the MT Hankuk Chemi is at odds with Iranian explanations that they stopped the vessel over pollution concerns. Instead, it appeared the Islamic Republic sought to increase its leverage over Seoul ahead of negotiations over billions of dollars in Iranian assets frozen in South Korean banks amid a U.S. pressure campaign targeting Iran. Iran on Monday also began enriching uranium up to 20%, a small technical step away from weapons-grade levels of 90%.
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