In light of rising tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program, the US Navy said on Thursday that an oil ship flying the Marshall Islands flag in the Gulf of Oman had been seized by Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.
The Advantage Sweet was the name of the ship stationed in the Middle East, according to the Fifth Fleet of the US Navy.
The Ship was located in the Gulf of Oman close to the north of Muscat, the capital of Oman, according to satellite tracking data acquired by MarineTraffic.com on Thursday afternoon. It had just landed from Kuwait, and its stated destination was Houston, Texas.
The Iranian vessel was at least Tehran’s fifth commercial vessel seizure in the last two years, according to the 5th fleet.
It issued a warning that Iran’s repeated obstruction of ship navigation rights and harassment of ships in local waterways constitute a risk to maritime security and the world economy.
According to the Navy, Iran apparently took possession of the Advantage Sweet around 1:15 pm while it was cruising through international waters.
The 5th Gleet issued a statement saying that Iran’s activities are against International law and detrimental to the security and stability of the region. Iran needs to release the oil tanker right away.
Both a fatal drone strike in 2021 that killed two European crew members on an oil tanker with connections to Israel and a string of limpet mine attacks on ships that damaged tankers in 2019 have been blamed on Iran, according to the US Navy.
Although Tehran has claimed responsibility for the strikes, a larger secret conflict between Iran and the strikes, a larger secret conflict between Iran and the West has been going on in the region’s volatile waterways.
An Iranian takeover was the most recent kidnapping explosion to shake the area close to the Strait of Hormuz, the confined entrance to the Persian Gulf through which a fifth of all commercial oil passes.
The incidents began after the United States unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear agreement between Iran and other powers, which saw Tehran significantly curtail its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. At the time, Donald Trump was president of the United States.
Reference: Mint, The Tribune