Tehran, Jan 11 (EFE).- Iran has seized an “American oil tanker” in the Gulf of Oman, the Iranian Navy said Thursday.
The Iranian military claimed that the St. Nikolas was seized on Thursday morning “in retaliation” for the alleged “theft” of Iranian oil by the United States in 2023.
“The Navy of the Islamic Republic of Iran seized an American oil tanker in the waters of the Sea of Oman with a court order,” the semi-official Tasnim News Agency reported, citing Iranian naval forces.
“The aforementioned offending oil tanker had stolen a cargo of oil belonging to the Islamic Republic of Iran under the guidance of the United States and transferred it to the ports of that country, placing it under the control of the United States,” it said.
According to state media, Navy forces were transferring the vessel to Iranian ports for delivery to judicial authorities.
The captured ship is sailing under the flag of the Marshall Islands and is owned by the Greek shipping company Empire Navigation.
The Greek state news agency AMNA reported that the ship is crewed by 19 people, one Greek and 18 Filipino nationals.
The vessel, formerly known as “Suez Rajan”, was involved in a yearlong dispute, during which the US Department of Justice seized one million barrels of Iranian crude oil it was transporting.
According to AMNA, the ship had loaded around 145,000 tons of oil in Basra, Iraq, and was heading for the city of Aliaga, Turkey, as it had been chartered by the Turkish state oil company Tupras. EFE