Iran has seized a tanker from the Gulf of Oman. The Marshall Islands-flagged St Nicholas tanker seized on Thursday was en route to Turkey with oil from Iraq. Iran claims that it has been seized this time in retaliation for the seizure of this tanker last year.
According to the news agency Reuters, America seized this same tanker and the Iranian oil in it last year. The country said it was done under sanctions. At that time, Iran warned that it would be severely retaliated against. The tanker was earlier named Suez Rajon.
The Iranian Navy has also made a statement about the seized tanker on Thursday. The country’s state news agency says it was seized on a court order. According to the semi-official Iranian news agency Fars, the US stole Iran’s oil last year. In response to this, on Thursday morning, the tanker was seized and brought to the port of Iran by the order of the court.
The tanker has 145 thousand barrels of oil. Due to this incident, the tension in the Red Sea reached a new level.
The British media BBC says that the tanker is owned by Greece. Iran is claiming that it is America. Nothing is clearly known about this.
The tanker St Nicholas belongs to the Greek shipping company Empire Navigation. The Athens-based firm, however, has yet to comment on the ‘hijacking’. It had a crew of 19.
Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis have launched more than 25 attacks on shipping routes in the southern Red Sea since last November. And this week they launched the biggest attack. They mainly attack ships belonging to Israel.
On Wednesday, the UN Security Council demanded an end to attacks on ships in the Red Sea.