Iran hijacks a new oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman

Iranian authorities reported that an Iranian court ruled to capture vessel that had been commissioned by the United States for violating international sanctions.

The Iranian Navy seized an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman. Britain's maritime safety agency UKMTO first reported Thursday that four or five armed men "wearing military style black uniforms with black masks" had boarded a vessel. It then turned and changed its course towards Iranian waters, and communication was lost.

Iranian naval authorities reported that the seizure of an "American tanker in the Sea of ​​Oman " was due to a court ruling, according to the official agency:

The Public Relations Department of the Iranian Navy announced on Thursday that the seizure has taken place on court order as it said that the Suez Rajan tanker had earlier stolen an Iranian oil cargo and handed it over to the U.S.

The vessel was identified as the St. Nikolas, operated by the Greek Empire Navigation group. The company said in a statement, reported by AFP, that it had lost contact with the 19 crew members, one Greek and 18 Filipino. According to the same source, it had loaded "about 145,000 tons of crude oil destined for Aliaga (Turkey) through the Suez Canal." It also maintained that "Iran has already acted before against those it accuses of cooperating with the United States."

EFE also reported that the tanker had been sentenced to pay a fine for violating international sanctions against Iran by transporting Iranian oil. The shipment was also confiscated. On its page, Empire Navigation recognizes the sanction, says that it did not know the real origin of the oil it was transporting and it is working to "remedy that error."

"The violating oil tanker Suez Rajan ... stole Iranian oil by leading it to the Americans and delivered it to the Americans," were the words reported on Iranian state television, according to the AP.

Last April, Iran raided an oil tanker headed to the United States. In July, it attempted to kidnap two, but was repelled by the U.S. Navy. These assaults are part of the growing uncertainty in maritime transport routes, driven by the Islamic Republic of Iran since the war between Israel and Hamas began. Some of these actions were: threats to close the Mediterranean Sea, sending a destroyer to the Red Sea and attacks by Houthi proxies in the region.