Footage has been released by the Iranian navy that shows the seizure of a foreign vessel in the Gulf of Oman.
The Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker Advantage Sweet was taken Thursday by Iranian forces after leaving Kuwait en route to Houston, the U.S. Navy announced.
“Advantage Sweet was seized by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy while transiting international waters in the Gulf of Oman,” NAVCENT said.
In this frame grab from video footage released by the Iranian navy, Iranian marines rappel onto the Advantage Sweet, a Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker heading to the U.S. in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday. (Iranian Navy via AP)
“Iran’s continued harassment of vessels and interference with navigational rights in regional waters are a threat to maritime security and the global economy,” the statement continued. “In the past two years, Iran has unlawfully seized at least five commercial vessels sailing in the Middle East.”
Video of the incident shows Iranian forces approaching the oil tanker via helicopter as it travels through the Gulf of Oman.
This frame grab from video footage released by the Iranian Navy shows the Advantage Sweet oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman. (Iranian Navy via AP)
An Iranian Guard Corps soldier can be seen brandishing a rifle out the helicopter door as the aircraft sweeps by the vessel from a distance.
Additional footage shows Guard Corps members descending from the helicopter via rope before taking control of the ship.
The Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker Advantage Sweet, which, according to Refinitiv ship-tracking data, is a Suezmax crude tanker that had been chartered by oil major Chevron and had last docked in Kuwait, sails through Bosporus Istanbul, Turkey, on Feb. 11, 2023. (REUTERS/Yoruk Isik)
The international incident is only the latest in a series of aggressions by Iran toward foreign vessels within its region.
“The Islamic Republic continues to prove that its terrorism and regional destabilization is not limited to land, air, or even international waters. Tehran’s threat to international shipping is almost as old as the Islamic Republic itself,” Behnam Ben Taleblu, senior fellow and Iran expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told Fox News Digital.
“Iran’s continued hostage taking of oil tankers and harassment of other vessels blows a hole through the theory that greater Chinese involvement in the Persian Gulf might restrain the regime’s bad behavior,” he added.
The U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet is monitoring the situation as it develops.