TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency is reporting that the country’s seizure of British-flagged oil tanker a day earlier was due to a collision with an Iranian fishing boat.
Saturday’s report says the British tanker caused damage to the fishing boat, then didn’t respond to calls from the smaller craft.
The fishing boat informed Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization, which notified the Revolutionary Guard.
The report says Revolutionary Guard vessels directed the Stena Impero to an Iranian port for an investigation Friday.
Iran’s attempt to offer a “technical” explanation for seizing the tanker could signal a possible de-escalation of tensions in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, which has become a flashpoint between Tehran and the West.
Another British ship was briefly detained by Iran on Friday before being allowed to go.