The U.S. Navy announced Thursday that the Islamic Republic of Iran has seized a foreign vessel in the Gulf of Oman. A Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker was taken by Iranian forces after leaving Kuwait on its way to Houston, Texas.
“The oil tanker issued a distress call during the seizure,” the US Navy’s 5th Fleet said. “Iran‘s actions are contrary to international law and disruptive to regional security and stability. The statement added, “Iran should immediately release the oil tanker.”
The incident comes amid wider conflicts regarding Iran’s nuclear programs. US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) released a statement attributing the vessel’s seizure to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy.
The statement added, “Iran should immediately release the oil tanker.” “Advantage Sweet was seized by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy while transiting international waters in the Gulf of Oman,” NAVCENT said.
“Iran’s continued harassment of vessels and interference with navigational rights in regional waters are a threat to maritime security and the global economy,” the statement continued. “In the past two years, Iran has unlawfully seized at least five commercial vessels sailing in the Middle East. The US Navy’s 5th Fleet is reportedly monitoring the situation as it develops.