Iranian navy seizes oil tanker in Gulf of Oman | World News

The Iranian navy has confirmed it has seized an oil tanker within the Gulf of Oman.

It comes after the vessel St Nikolas was reported to have been boarded by armed males this morning.

The state-run IRNA information company ran a short story acknowledging the seizure by Iran’s navy. It didn’t determine the vessel, however mentioned it got here because of a judicial order.

The St Nikolas was as soon as concerned in a dispute with the US justice division, that noticed one million barrels of Iranian crude oil seized.

The UK Maritime Commerce Operations (UKTMO), which gives warnings to sailors within the Center East, mentioned the incident started early within the morning, 50 miles off the coast of Oman.

UKTMO described receiving a report from the ship’s safety supervisor of listening to “unknown voices over the cellphone” alongside the ship’s captain.

It mentioned it was unable to make additional contact with the vessel and that the authorities have been investigating the incident.

The event comes amid excessive tensions within the close by Purple Sea, the place assaults by Iran-backed Houthi rebels primarily based in Yemen are disrupting transport.

The non-public intelligence agency Ambrey mentioned “4 to 5 armed individuals” boarded the ship. It mentioned that the lads had coated the surveillance cameras as they boarded.

The incident started early on Wednesday morning in waters between Oman and Iran, in an space the place ships coming out and in of the Strait of Hormuz move by means of.

A major proportion of worldwide oil commerce passes by means of the Strait of Hormuz, even though lately waters across the strait have seen a sequence of ship seizures by Iran for the reason that collapse of the nation’s nuclear deal.

Pic: Ship tracking and maritime analytics provider MarineTraffic, www.marinetraffic.com
Pic: Ship monitoring and maritime analytics supplier MarineTraffic, www.marinetraffic.com

Learn extra:
Who’re the Houthis and why are they attacking ships within the Purple Sea?

The St Nikolas had earlier been named the Suez Rajan, related to the Greek transport firm Empire Navigation.

In a press release earlier, the Athens-based agency acknowledged dropping contact with the vessel, which has a crew of 18 Filipinos and one Greek nationwide. The corporate didn’t elaborate.

The ship got here beneath the highlight in February 2022 when the group United Towards Nuclear Iran mentioned it suspected the tanker carried oil from Iran’s Khargh Island.

For months, the ship sat within the South China Sea off the northeast coast of Singapore earlier than all of a sudden crusing for the Texas coast with out clarification. The vessel discharged its cargo to a different tanker in August, which launched its oil in Houston as a part of a US Division of Justice order.

In September, Empire Navigation pleaded responsible to smuggling sanctioned Iranian crude oil and agreed to pay a $2.4m (£1.9m) effective over a case involving the tanker.

By RemmyTex

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