Iranian forces have seized the second oil tanker in less than a week, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command announced in a Wednesday release.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy seized Panama-flagged oil tanker Niovi while it was transiting the Strait of Hormuz, according to the NAVCENT release.
A video released by NAVCENT shows at least 10 small boats approaching the oil tanker. The IRGCN fast-attack craft forced the oil tanker, which was heading toward the Fujairah port from Dubai, to reverse its course and sail into Iranian territorial waters, according to the release.
In the past two years, Iranian forces have attacked or harassed 15 internationally-flagged merchant vessels, according to the NAVCENT release.
“Iran’s continued harassment of vessels and interference with navigational rights in regional waters are unwarranted, irresponsible and a present threat to maritime security and the global economy,” reads the release.
Iran’s Public and Revolution Prosecutor’s office said the IRGCN seized the oil tanker due to a private complaint, state-run media site Islamic Republic News Agency reported,
While this is the second time in less than two weeks that an oil tanker has been captured by Iranian forces, Niovi was captured by the IRGCN, while the other oil tanker was seized by the Iranian Navy. The two forces have different compositions and strategies.
The Iranian Navy seized oil tanker Advantage Sweet, traveling under the flag of the Marshall Islands, in the Gulf of Oman on April 27, USNI News previously reported.
The oil tanker was heading toward Houston from Kuwait.
The next day, Iranian state television aired a video of the Iranian Navy boarding the oil tanker. Iran said it seized the vessel after a collision with an Iranian vessel in the Persian Gulf.
In comments ahead of Iran’s Persian Gulf National Day, IGRCN commander Rear Adm. Alireza Tangsiri called the U.S. and Israel’s presence in the waters illegitimate and said it threatened the safety of the gulf, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency.