The United States Navy denounced that Iran seized another oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz

Ships of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard surround the oil tanker Niovi (photo: US Navy) (USNAVAL FORCES CENTRAL COMMAND /)

Iranian forces seized early Tuesday a Panamanian flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuzthe US Navy reported, the second such incident in less than a week.

the tanker, Nioviwas sailing from Dubai to Fujairah, another port in the United Arab Emirates, when it was detained by Iran’s Marine Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

A dozen IRGCN fast attack craft pounced on the ship in the middle of the strait.”, said a statement from the Bahrain-based US Fifth Fleet, referring to the Revolutionary Guard naval force.

The Navy published images of small boats of the Guard around the tanker.

Iran did not mention the incident at first. Six days ago, the Iranian navy seized a Marshall Islands-flagged tanker in the Gulf of Oman, a nearby waterway that also borders the Arabian Peninsula and Iran.

The ship Advantage Sweet (Reuters)
The ship Advantage Sweet (Reuters) (YORUK ISIK /)

The event was added to a series of ship arrests and explosions that have rocked the region.

The turbulent but commercially vital Gulf waters, which carry at least a third of the world’s seaborne oilhave seen a spate of incidents since 2018, when then-US President Donald Trump withdrew from a nuclear deal and reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran.

Iran has harassed or attacked 15 international-flagged merchant ships in the past two yearsaccording to the US Navy, which described its actions as “contrary to international law and disruptive to regional security and stability.”

“Iran’s continued harassment of ships and interference with navigation rights in regional waters are unjustified, irresponsible and a current threat to maritime safety and the world economy”, he added.

Tehran denies carrying out those attacks, but a broader covert war between Iran and the West is raging in regional waters. Iranian tanker detentions have been an element of that dispute since 2019. The latest major event occurred when Iran intercepted two Greek tankers and held them for months.

(With information from AP and AFP)

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