Greek-owned oil tanker seized by Iran’s navy in Gulf of Oman

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A Greek-owned oil tanker named St Nikolas was seized by Iran’s military on Thursday in the gulf of Oman.

The seizure by Iran’s military follows weeks of attacks on Red Sea ships by Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, including their heaviest bombardment of drones and missiles ever fired late Tuesday.

According to Ekathimerini, Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency declared the seizure came as the result of a court order, without providing any further explanation.

The tanker, formerly known as the Suez Rajan, was once entangled in a year long dispute between Tehran and Washington, resulting the US Justice Department seizing 1 million barrels of Iranian crude oil on board.

Private security firm, Ambrey reported that this seizure saw “four to five armed persons” boarding the oil tanker, covering surveillance cameras in order to conceal their identity.

Athens-based shipping company, Empire Navigation acknowledged losing contact the Greek tanker which has a crew of 18 Filipinos and one Greek national. 

Since the breakdown of Iran’s nuclear deal, Iran has seized a number of ships in the waters surrounding the strait, with the current emphasis focusing on Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea.

The Houthis say their attacks are aimed at halting the suffering of Palestinians in Israel’s war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip, however, the rebels have increasingly targeted ships with tenuous or no ties to Israel.

Source: Ekathimerini

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