The US Navy has made known that Iran has seized yet another oil tanker, the second in a week, which comes amid rising tensions in the Gulf waters. The Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet of the Navy said that the Niovi oil tanker was captured by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGCN) while making its way through the Strait of Hormuz, per Reuters.
The report noted that Tehran’s prosecutor announced that Niovi had been taken over on a judicial order after a complaint came through by a plaintiff. However, there were no further details provided.
The Niovi tanker had apparently been traveling from Dubai toward UAE’s port of Fujairah, but it was soon intercepted.
A dozen fast-attack craft swarmed the tanker, forcing it back into Iranian territorial waters during the unlawful seizure.
The news comes after Iran had seized a Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman, known as the Advantage Sweet, per Fox News. The report suggested that the reason for the seizure of the Advantage Sweet was a response to a recent seizure, by court order, by the US of an oil cargo aboard the tanker Suez Rajan, located in the Marshall Islands.
The recent seizure of the oil tanker is significant because the report indicated that approximately one-fifth of all the world’s crude oil must pass through the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow passageway between Iran and Oman.
The Marshall Islands flag registry reported: "Heightened military activity and geopolitical tensions in these regions continue to pose serious threats to commercial vessels.”
"Associated with these threats is the potential for miscalculation or misidentification, which could lead to aggressive actions."
Reuters reported that there has been a series of attacks on shipping material since 2019, which has only increased the tensions between the US and Iran.