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Tanker Wars: Iran Seizes US-bound Oil Tanker As It Exits Persian Gulf

Once again, the oil markets have begin the fluctuate following this latest chapter in the emerging tankers wars unfolding around the Persian Gulf. Washington is in full crisis mode after Iran seized a Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman heading for Houston, Texas. , the U.S. Navy said,

According to US Navy sources, this latest in a series of incidents involving commercial vessels in the Gulf is the biggest crisis since 2019.

It’s also possible that this recent seizure of a US-bound oil tanker by Iran in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday may have been a retaliation to a reported US seizure of an Iranian oil tanker as part of a US sanctions enforcement operation.

Understandable, tensions between the countries are once again approaching a new peak.

It’s also worth noting here that this latest incident comes just days after Iran’s navy forced a US submarine to surface after entering the Gulf and “violating Iran’s territorial waters.  

Maziar Motamedi from Al Jazeera reports…

Iran and the United States have again found themselves on opposite sides as they provided contradictory accounts of events that led to Tehran’s seizure of an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman.

Iran’s state television on Friday showed footage of the country’s navy commandos boarding the Marshall Islands-flagged tanker Advantage Sweet in a helicopter operation a day earlier.

The Turkish-operated, Chinese-owned tanker entered the Gulf of Oman after moving through the Strait of Hormuz and was reportedly bound for Houston, Texas carrying Kuwaiti crude oil for US energy firm Chevron Corp.

Iran said the tanker collided with an unidentified Iranian vessel hours before its seizure, leading to several crew members falling overboard and going missing and others getting injured. The tanker then fled the scene and ignored radio calls for eight hours before its seizure based on a court order, the Iranian army said.

“We repeatedly called on the vessel to stop so we can conduct a more comprehensive investigation, but there was no cooperation,” Mostafa Tajodini, deputy for operations at the Iranian navy, told state media.

The vessel’s manager, a Turkish firm called Advantage Tankers, said similar experiences have shown that crew members – all 24 of whom are Indian – are in no danger.

The Middle East-based US Navy 5th Fleet had said Iran’s actions constituted a violation of international law and called on Tehran to immediately release the tanker.

“Iran’s continued harassment of vessels and interference with navigational rights in regional waters are a threat to maritime security and the global economy,” it said, adding this was at least the fifth commercial vessel taken by Iran in the past two years.

READ MORE IRAN NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Iran Files


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