Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker Advantage Sweet, which, according to Refinitiv ship tracking data, is a Suezmax crude tanker which had been chartered by oil major Chevron and had last docked in Kuwait, sails at Marmara sea near Istanbul, Turkey January 10, 2023.

Iran’s Navy Seizes Chinese-Owned Oil Tanker In Gulf Of Oman

Thursday, 04/27/2023

Iran’s navy seized a Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday amid wider tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program, the US Navy said.

The Navy’s Mideast-based 5th Fleet identified the vessel as the Advantage Sweet. Satellite tracking data for the vessel from MarineTraffic.com showed it in the Gulf of Oman just north of Oman’s capital, Muscat, on Thursday afternoon.

It had just come from Kuwait and listed its destination as Houston, Texas.

The Advantage Sweet, a Suezmax oil tanker built in 2012, issued a distress call at 1:15 p.m. while in international waters as Iran seized the vessel, the Navy said.

According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) shipping database, the Advantage Sweet is owned by a China-registered company called SPDBFL No One Hundred & Eighty-Seven (Tianjin) Ship Leasing Co Ltd.

Iran's army later said it had seized the oil tanker after it collided with an Iranian boat, injuring several crewmen, Iranian state media reported.

"A Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker was seized by Iranian army's naval force in the Persian Gulf after it collided with an Iranian boat in the Gulf of Oman and tried to flee," the army statement said.

"Two members of the boat's crew are missing and several were injured due the collision of the ship with the boat."

However, the 5ht Fleet said, “Iran’s actions are contrary to international law and disruptive to regional security and stability. Iran should immediately release the oil tanker.”

It also said the Iranian seizure was at least the fifth commercial vessel taken by Tehran in the last two years.

“Iran’s continued harassment of vessels and interference with navigation rights in regional waters are a threat to maritime security and the global economy,” the statement added.

Iran in November released two Greek-flagged tankers that it seized in the Persian Gulf in May.

With reporting by AP and Reuters

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