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US Navy says Iranian Military seized yet another oil tanker in the gulf


Daily Caller News Foundation

The Iranian military swarmed an oil tanker transiting the Strait of Hormuz on Wednesday, the U.S. Navy said, the second civilian vessel seized in the past seven days.

Iran’s Islamic Military Guard Corps (IRGC) paramilitary group seized the Panama-flagged tanker Niovi at 6:20 a.m. local time, the U.S. Navy said in a statement along with surveillance footage of about a dozen IRGC fast-attack craft swarming around the tanker. Iran also confiscated a Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker carrying crude oil for Chevron through the Gulf of Oman on April 27 in a pattern of threatening behavior around the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of all crude passes, according to The Associated Press.

The IRGC squad “forced the oil tanker to reverse course and head toward Iranian territorial waters off the coast of Bandar Abbas, Iran,” the Navy said. A Navy surveillance drone was operating on a routine patrol in the area and captured footage of the attack but did not pick up a distress call from the Niovi, Navy spokesperson Cmdr. Timothy Hawkins told the AP.

“Iran’s actions are contrary to international law and disruptive to regional security and stability,” the Navy said.”Iran’s continued harassment of vessels and interference with navigational rights in regional waters are unwarranted, irresponsible and a present threat to maritime security and the global economy.”

The Niovi embarked from Dubai after undergoing dry-dock repairs and was heading for Fujairah port in the U.A.E. without cargo, the AP reported, citing data firm Refinitiv.

Iranian state-affiliated IRNA media acknowledged the U.S. Navy’s report of the seizure but did not provide additional details.

Last week, Iran accused the Advantage Sweet of colliding with anther vessel without providing evidence to justify the seizure, according to the AP.

The two seizures come amid reports that a Marshall Island-flagged tanker thought to have a history of smuggling Iranian oil, the Suez Rajan, disappeared near East Africa after a long stay in the South China Sea, according to the AP. Media outlets including the Financial Times reported it was taken on the order of U.S. authorities, but the U.S. has not commented.

Iran has “harassed, attacked or interfered with the navigational rights” of 15 merchant vessels since 2021, the Navy said.

The latest major incidents occurred in May 2022, when Iran took two Greek-flagged tankers and did not release them until November, according to the AP.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

1 Comment

  1. They were to busy watching drag queens the navy hired.

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