Pirates in the Gulf of Aden seized an Iranian ship on Tuesday that was carrying 30,000 tonnes of petrochemical products to North Africa, Iran’s semi-official Mehr news agency has reported.
The agency did not name the ship or say how many crew were on board.
In a separate incident, the US said its forces had rescued six Iranian crew whose ship was taking on water off the coast of Iraq. The Pentagon made the announcement on Tuesday, a week after reports that US naval forces had freed 13 Iranian fishermen taken hostage by pirates in the Arabian Sea more than a month ago.
Meanwhile, tensions continue between Iran and the US and the European Union. Western governments have lodged embargoes against Iran to prevent a nuclear programme intended, Washington claims, to build nuclear weapons.
The most recent financial sanctions have hit the Iranian economy hard, prompting Tehran to threaten to block the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial corridor for oil traffic. Iran also threatened to block the USS John Stennis , the aircraft carrier whose strike group took part in the Arabian Sea rescue last week, if it re-enters the strait.