The U.S. Navy announced Thursday that Iran seized an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman. The Navy’s 5th Fleet said the oil tanker Advantage Sweet, which is registered under a Marshall Islands flag, was seized by Iranian forces after leaving Kuwait on its way to Houston, Texas, and issued a distress call. The U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet said“Iran’s actions are contrary to international law and disruptive to regional security and stability. Iran should immediately release the oil tanker.”

US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) also released a statement attributing the vessel’s seizure to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy:  “Advantage Sweet was seized by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy while transiting international waters in the Gulf of Oman. Iran’s continued harassment of vessels and interference with navigational rights in regional waters are a threat to maritime security and the global economy. In the past two years, Iran has unlawfully seized at least five commerical vessels sailing in the Middle East.

Behnam Ben Taleblu, senior fellow and Iran expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said: “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. 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.”

Editorial credit: agilard /

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