Fifth Fleet demands release of U.S.-bound oil tanker hijacked by Iran’s navy

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News April 27, 2023

Iran’s navy has seized a U.S.-bound oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman, the U.S. Navy reported.

The Advantage Sweet was seized by Iran’s navy in international waters on Thursday.

America’s own maritime military service made the revelation Thursday, identifying the ship as the Marshall Islands-flagged Advantage Sweet.

It is the fifth commercial vessel unlawfully seized by Iran in the past two years

Officials said the vessel was hijacked in international waters as it was heading to Houston — before it was abruptly hijacked in international waters.

According to the U.S. Navy, the Advantage Sweet sent a distress signal at 1.15 p.m. local time as it was being seized just north of Oman’s capital, Muscat. The vessel had disembarked from Kuwait Monday and passed through the Persian Gulf the day before.

The Bahrain-based U.S. Navy 5th Fleet is demanding the ship’s immediate release.

“Iran’s actions are contrary to international law and disruptive to regional security and stability,” the 5th Fleet said in a statement Thursday that announced the boat’s capture. “The Iranian government should immediately release the oil tanker.”

The statement continued: “Iran’s continued harassment of vessels and interference with navigational rights in regional waters are a threat to maritime security and the global economy.”

A report from Iran’s state-run IRNA news outlet claimed an “unknown ship collided with an Iranian vessel last night in the Persian Gulf.”

The alleged crash, the agency claimed, caused “several Iranian crew members to go missing and get injured.”

The report did not specify the other ship involved in the alleged collision, but claimed it tried to flee when confronted by Iranian forces.

“The unknown vessel, while acting in violation of international regulations to help the vessel and the injured, attempted to escape from the Persian Gulf.”

The IRNA report added: “In this operation, the Binder destroyer of the navy of the army, by court order, seized the violator ship that was fleeing with the flag of the Marshall Islands and directed it to the coastal waters of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

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