Iran seizes South Korean tanker: reports

Iranian naval vessels have reportedly seized a tanker ship flagged to South Korea, and its crew members, that were operating in the Gulf.

Iranian media outlets say the vessel was taken for polluting the seaway with chemicals, but it comes at a difficult time between the two countries: Because Iran has over $7 billion frozen in South Korean banks due to U.S. sanctions.

And, South Korea's deputy foreign minister is expected to visit Iran within days to discuss those frozen assets.

The tanker is called the HANKUL CHEMI, is said to have been carrying 7,200 tons of ethanol, and was seized by Iran's Revolutionary Guards. It's now being held at a port on the Iranian coast.

The crew reportedly includes members from South Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar.

Shipping analysts suggest the ship was traveling between Saudi Arabia and the UAE.