Iran attempted to seize two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, and reportedly fired shots at one of them, according to the U.S. Navy. Both Iranian naval vessels retreated after the U.S. Navy intervened, allowing the commercial ships to proceed safely. The incidents occurred without any casualties or major damages, and no immediate comment was made by Iran.
- Iran tried to seize two commercial oil tankers, the Marshall Islands-flagged TRF Moss and the Bahamian-flagged Richmond Voyager, near the Strait of Hormuz.
- The U.S. Navy deployed the USS McFaul, a guided-missile destroyer, a MQ-9 Reaper drone, and a P-8 Poseidon patrol plane to the scene in response to these attempts.
- According to the U.S. Navy, there have been at least five incidents of Iran seizing commercial vessels in the past two years and more than a dozen cases of harassment, primarily around the Strait of Hormuz.
- In April, the Iranian navy commandeered a U.S.-bound oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman, asserting that the vessel had collided with an Iranian one. These actions are seen as a possible tactic to use the captured vessels as negotiation assets with the West.
- The recent incidents occur in a context of rising tensions since the U.S. withdrawal from Iran’s 2015 nuclear agreement and the reinstatement of sanctions, with Iran escalating its nuclear activities in response.