Iran on Monday reportedly seized a vessel in the Persian Gulf for allegedly smuggling diesel to the United Arab Emirates -- a close ally of Saudi Arabia -- amid the ratcheting up of regional tensions after a group of Iranian-backed rebels said they were responsible for the attack on a Saudi oil facility over the weekend.
The vessel seized Monday morning was carrying 250,000 liters of fuel when it was intercepted by Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to the Islamic Republic's semi-official Iranian Students' News Agency.
The reported ship seizure comes after Yemen's Houthi rebels allegedly orchestrated the weekend drone assault on the world's largest oil processing facility in Saudia Arabia.
The U.S. government produced satellite photos showing what officials said were at least 19 points of impact at two Saudi energy facilities, including damage at the heart of the kingdom's crucial oil processing plant at Abqaiq.
The attacks and recriminations are increasing already heightened fears of an escalation in the region, after Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., suggested striking Iranian oil refineries in response to the assault, and Iran warned of the potential of more violence.