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Persian Gulf. Iran ‘forcibly seized’ a merchant ship in international waters

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The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps “forcibly seized” a merchant ship in international waters in the Persian Gulf believed to be involved in smuggling, a US Navy spokesman said Thursday.

British maritime security company Ambrey has reported an attempt by Iranian forces to seize a small oil tanker flying the flag of Tanzaniaabout 59 nautical miles northeast of the Saudi port of Dammam.

Iran regularly intercepts smaller tankers suspected of oil smuggling.

“The U.S. Navy has been monitoring the situation and has decided not to take any further action,” Commander Tim Hawkins, spokesman for the U.S. Fifth Fleet.

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According to data from the analysis firm Vortexa, about a fifth of the world’s shipments of marine crude oil and petroleum products pass through the Strait of Hormuz, which is a bottleneck between Iran and Oman.

Iranians tried to seize oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman

The US Navy intervened on Wednesday to prevent an Iranian attempt to seize two commercial oil tankers in the international waters of the Gulf of Oman, the US Fifth Fleet said.

READ MORE: The Iranians tried to seize the tankers. Action of the American fleet

US patrol unit in the Gulf of Omanspc. Evens Milcette U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet

This is yet another case of Iranian forces attacking oil tankers transiting international waters in the Gulf of Oman, 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 indirectly owned Israel the tanker caused the deaths of two crew members.

In April, the Iranian Navy seized the Marshall Islands-flagged tanker Advantage Sweet. A few days earlier United States under the sanctions imposed on Tehran, they confiscated a cargo of Iranian oil, and in retaliation, Iranian forces carried out a helicopter landing on Advantage Sweet in the Gulf of Oman in international waters.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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