Iran seized a Panama-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz on Wednesday, the second-such capture by Tehran in recent days, the US Navy said.
The Navy’s Mideast-based 5th Fleet identified the vessel as the Niovi. It said Iran’s Revolutionary Guard seized the ship.
The Navy published pictures of a dozen Guard vessels surrounding the tanker. Those ships “forced the oil tanker to reverse course and head toward Iranian territorial waters off the coast of Bandar Abbas, Iran,” the Navy said.
“Iran’s actions are contrary to international law and disruptive to regional security and stability,” the 5th Fleet said in a statement. “Iran’s continued harassment of vessels and interference with navigational rights in regional waters are unwarranted, irresponsible and a present threat to maritime security and the global economy.”
Last week, Iran seized an oil tanker carrying crude for Chevron amid wider tensions between Tehran and the US over its nuclear program. The Advantage Sweet had 23 Indians and one Russian on board.