Iran's Revolutionary Guards Seize Commercial Ship in Gulf, U.S. Navy

Iran's Revolutionary Guards Seize Commercial Ship in Gulf, U.S. Navy

According to a U.S. Navy spokesperson, Shafaq News/ Iran's Revolutionary Guards have reportedly "forcibly seized" a commercial ship in international waters in the Gulf, potentially involving smuggling activities.

The incident occurred on Thursday, prompting monitoring by the U.S. Navy, which ultimately chose not to respond further, stated U.S. 5th Fleet spokesperson Commander Tim Hawkins.

Ambrey, a British maritime security company, confirmed awareness of an attempted seizure by Iranian forces involving a small Tanzanian-flagged tanker located approximately 59 nautical miles northeast of Dammam, a Saudi Arabian port city. The company noted that Iran frequently intercepts smaller tankers suspected of oil smuggling.

In a separate statement, the U.S. Navy disclosed on Wednesday that it had intervened to prevent Iran from seizing two commercial tankers in the Gulf of Oman. This incident is the latest in a series of attacks on ships in the area since 2019, raising concerns over maritime security.

Commander Hawkins reaffirmed the commitment of U.S. forces to vigilantly safeguarding the navigational rights of lawful maritime traffic in the critical waters of the Middle East.

Iran claimed on Thursday that it had obtained a court order to seize one of the tankers sailing in Gulf waters on Wednesday, alleging a collision with an Iranian vessel. The vessel in question, the Bahamas-flagged Richmond Voyager, was managed by U.S. oil major Chevron.

Tehran had previously seized two other tankers in May, including the Marshall Islands-flagged Advantage Sweet, which had been chartered by Chevron.

According to the U.S. Navy, Iran has engaged in the harassment, attacks, or seizure of nearly 20 internationally flagged merchant vessels since 2021, underscoring growing tensions in the region.

The latest incident serves as a reminder of the volatile situation in the Gulf, highlighting the ongoing challenges commercial ships face navigating these waters and the need for heightened maritime security measures.

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