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Pentagon Denies Report That Iranian Forces Seized U.S. Ship

The Pentagon says Iranian forces have boarded a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship in the Persian Gulf after patrol boats fired warning shots across its bow and ordered it deeper into Iranian waters as it was traveling through the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran's semiofficial Fars news agency said the Iranian Navy seized a ship on April 28 at the request of Iran's Ports and Maritime Organization, but did not identify the owner.

U.S. Army Colonel Steve Warren said the ship, the MV Maersk Tigris, initially ignored Iranian patrol boats that ordered it deeper into Iranian territorial waters but complied after the vessels fired several warning shots.

U.S. forces in the region responded to distress calls from the Maersk Tigris, sending the destroyer USS Farragut to monitor the situation along with reconnaissance aircraft.

Warren, who said the act appeared to be "provocative behavior," said no U.S. citizens were aboard the cargo ship.

The Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television had reported that a U.S. vessel had been seized and forced to an Iranian port.

Based on reports by Reuters, AP, AFP, and BBC