Stationed in the Middle East, the U.S. Fifth Fleet said on Thursday that forces from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps seized the Marshall Islands-flagged tanker Advantage Sweet in the Gulf of Oman.
“The tanker sent a distress call at the time of takeover. (…) Proceedings Iran is contrary to international law and threatens regional security and stability. Iran should release the tanker immediately,” the Fifth Fleet said in a statement.
Advantage Sweet floated with Kuwait to Houston, Texas, USA. According to MarineTraffic.com, which tracks ship movements using satellite images, the tanker is currently in the Gulf of Oman, north of Muscat, the capital of Oman. According to the data of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the ship belongs to a registered China by SPDBFL.
5th Fleet USA Iran said in a statement that Iran had illegally seized at least five commercial ships in the Middle East in the past two years.
The AP agency reports that the Iranian authorities have so far not admitted that the ship was hijacked, and the country’s representative did UN has not responded to requests for comment on Advantage Sweet.
The Associated Press reminds that this is the latest attack by Iran on oil tankers passing through international waters along the route leading through the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world’s oil exports are transported. Iranian forces carried out a series of attacks on ships in 2019, destroying them with sea mines, and in 2021, a drone attack on an Israeli oil tanker killed two crew members.
Main photo source: Google Maps