Iran seizes commercial ship in international waters



This picture taken on October 31, 2022 shows a view of an oil tanker, seized by Iranian naval forces at the Gulf port of Bandar Abbas in southern Iran. - Iran said the foreign-registered ship was smuggling fuel in the Gulf and arrested its crew, according to local media. "The navy of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has seized a foreign tanker carrying 11 million litres of smuggled fuel", said Mojtaba Ghahremani, the judiciary chief for Hormozgan province, according to the Tasnim news agency. It is not known when the vessel was seized, or what flag it sailed under. (Photo by IRNA / AFP) (Photo by -/IRNA/AFP via Getty Images)
This picture taken on October 31, 2022 shows a view of an oil tanker, seized by Iranian naval forces at the Gulf port of Bandar Abbas in southern Iran. (Photo by -/IRNA/AFP via Getty Images)

By Jessamyn Dodd
9:20 AM – Friday, July 7, 2023

Iran’s revolutionary guards have forcibly seized a commercial tanker. According to a statement from the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet on Thursday, the commercial ship was said to be allegedly smuggling 900 tons of fuel.

A spokesman said they monitored the situation and have decided not to take action.

This comes after the Navy had stopped Iran from seizing two commercial tankers in international waters earlier in the week.

Pentagon spokesman Brig. General Pat Ryder made it known that the U.S. is keeping an eye on any new developments.

“U.S. Navy central Command announced that U.S. forces prevented two attempted commercial tanker seizures by the Iranian Navy after Iranians opened fire against one of the tankers near the coast of Oman,” he said. “Additional details regarding NAVS response are available on their website. Notably, both of these incidents occurred in international waters and represent a pattern of behavior by the Iranians.”

In the meantime, officials say U.S. forces remain vigilant and are ready to protect navigational rights of lawful maritime traffic in the Middle East’s critical waters.