Iran has seized a US-bound oil tanker from worldwide waters in the Gulf of Oman, based on the US Navy’s Central Command.
A Marshall Islands-flagged tanker, the Advantage Sweet, was taken by members of Iran’s navy, Centcom stated in an announcement on Thursday. Satellite monitoring confirmed the vessel had sailed from Kuwait and was broadcasting its vacation spot as Houston, Texas. The vessel is succesful of carrying about 1mn barrels of crude.
“Iran’s actions are contrary to international law and disruptive to regional security and stability,” Centcom stated.
The motive for seizure was not instantly clear.
Iran’s standard military stated in an announcement on Thursday that an unknown vessel had hit an Iranian ship north of the Indian Ocean, injuring two Iranian crew, earlier than fleeing the scene. The military stated they’d acquired “judicial permission” to trace and seize the overseas tanker after boarding through helicopter, earlier than guiding the vessel into Iranian waters.
Advantage Tankers confirmed that their vessel had been seized however stated they’d no data of a collision or any concept why the ship had been focused.
The crew members of the Advantage Sweet crew have been all from India, Advantage stated.
“The safety and welfare of our valued crew members is our number one priority,” Advantage stated in an announcement. “Similar experiences show that crew members of vessels taken under such circumstances are in no danger.”
Iran seized two Greek tankers in the Straits of Hormuz in 2022 and two UK tankers in 2019, each incidents following the detention of Iranian vessels by Greece and the UK.
Centcom initially positioned the blame on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy however later up to date its assertion to say the motion had been taken by Iran’s common navy.
The strait, which separates Iran from the Gulf states, is one of the world’s most necessary delivery lanes for oil. Approximately a 3rd of all seaborne oil cargoes go by way of every day, based on the US Energy Information Administration. Oil costs, which have weakened in latest days, rebounded barely on Thursday, with Brent crude gaining 0.7 per cent to $78.26 a barrel.
The seizure comes in opposition to the backdrop of continued tensions in US-Iranian relations. Talks over the revival of the 2015 nuclear pact, which former US president Donald Trump deserted in 2018, have stalled. Western powers need Iran to radically reverse its nuclear programme in return for the US rejoining the pact and lifting a swath of sanctions in opposition to its economic system, together with oil exports.
“Iran’s continued harassment of vessels and interference with navigational rights in regional waters are a threat to maritime security and the global economy,” Centcom stated, including that the US Fifth Fleet was monitoring the state of affairs.