The story: Iran denied taking hostage a South Korean tanker and its 20 crew members and said it had seized the vessel near the strategic Strait of Hormuz on Monday due to “repeated violations of marine environmental laws.”
Iran’s commandeering of the tanker and its crew has been seen as a bid to pressure Seoul to release assets frozen in South Korea due to US sanctions.
"If anyone is a hostage-taker, it is the South Korean government that is holding hostage our over $7 billion on a false premise,” said Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei.
The coverage: Iran’s ultra-conservative Kayhan daily, which is close to the Office of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, gave a graphic account of the seizure of the MT Hankuk Chemi, carrying 7,200 tonnes of ethanol, citing a statement by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The daily said South Korea’s freezing of Iranian assets was an “obvious theft”...
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