ships

The ships has reportedly been directed to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas

Iranian forces have reportedly fired at and seized a US cargo ship with 34 sailors on board, according to Saudi Arabian state TV.

The vessel has been directed to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas on the southern coast, Al-Arabiya has reported.

It remains unclear why or if the ship was captured, and whether the shots injured anyone on-board, as neither US nor Iranian officials have confirmed the allegations. The US Fifth Fleet off the coast of Bahrain had no immediate comment on the report, according to Reuters.

Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency suggested that the ship was trespassing in the Persian Gulf.

However, a US official told Reuters that there are no indications so far that any US ship is being directed by Iranian forces.

The official said the US was still working to get clarity on the situation.

The incident comes as relations between Tehran and Washington have started to thaw after three decades of animosity.

Negotiators from the US and five other nations are attempting to secure an agreement by the end of June requiring Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for an easing of sanctions which has damaged the nation’s economy.

This week, the US Senate will begin debating a bill allowing Congress to review the potential agreement.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini will on Tuesday meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in New York, for talks on Iran’s nuclear programme and other issues, an EU official said.

However, it is not yet known whether the incident at sea will be addressed during the meeting.