DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran seized a Panamanian-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz on Wednesday, the US Navy said, the second such seizure by Tehran in recent days.
Based in the Middle East for the Navy Fifth Fleet I identified the ship as Neofi. Paramilitary Iran said Revolutionary Guards captured the ship.
The Navy released pictures of dozens of Guard ships around the tanker. The navy said those ships “forced the oil tanker to reverse course and head towards Iranian territorial waters off the coast of Bandar Abbas, Iran.”
“Iran’s actions contradict international law and destabilize regional security and stability,” the Fifth Fleet said in a statement. “Iran’s continued harassment of ships and interference with navigation rights in territorial waters is unjustified, irresponsible and currently poses a threat to maritime security and the global economy.”
Iran did not immediately acknowledge the seizure.
Last week, Iran seized an oil tanker carrying crude for Chevron, amid broader tensions between Tehran and the United States over its nuclear programme. On board the Advantage Sweet were 23 Indians and one Russian.
Wednesday’s seizure by Iran was the latest in a series of ship seizures and explosions that have rocked the region.
The events began after US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the Iranian nuclear deal with world powers, which led to Tehran significantly restricting uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.
Also, the US Navy has blamed Iran for a series of irregular mine attacks on ships that destroyed tankers in 2019, as well as for a drone attack on an Israeli-linked oil tanker that killed two European crew in 2021.
Tehran denies carrying out the attacks, but a broader shadow war between Iran and the West has broken out in the turbulent waters of the region. Seizures of Iranian oil tankers have been a part of it since 2019. The last major seizure came before recent days when Iran seized two Greek tankers in May and held them until November.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *