The Iranian navy has released footage of a foreign vessel being seized in the Gulf of Oman. The US Navy has announced Iranian forces took the Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker Advantage Sweet after it left Kuwait on its way to Houston.
NAVCENT said: “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 commercial vessels sailing in the Middle East.”
In the footage Iranian forces are shown advancing towards the oil tanker in a helicopter while it travels through the Gulf of Oman.
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While the aircraft sweeps by the vessel an Iranian Guard Corps soldier is seen holding a rifle as they look at the tanker out the helicopter door.
Guards corps members can be seen in additional footage lowering themselves from the helicopter onto the tanker using a rope prior to seizing control of the ship.
These types of incident are tallying, with aggressions by Iran towards foreign vessels within its region ramping up recently.
Senior Iran expert at the Foundation for Defence of Democracies Behnam Ben Taleblu told Fox News: “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.”
He added: “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.”
The situation is being monitored by the US Navy’s 5th Fleet as it unfolds.