Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have continued to simmer for months following a U.S. strike that killed Qassem Soleimani, a top Iranian general, in January while he was traveling near Baghdad’s airport in Iraq, also as a retaliatory strike on a base housing U.S. troops.
Iranian forces briefly seized an oiler marked with a Liberian flag near the Strait of Hormuz on Wednesday, holding it for several hours before releasing it.
“Iran’s use of its military forces to conduct an armed boarding of a billboard vessel in high sea constitutes a blatant violation of the law of nations that undermines freedom of navigation and therefore the free flow of commerce,” responded the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC) during a statement retweeted by U.S. Central Command on Thursday. “We turn Iran to articulate to the international community the legal basis for its actions. this sort of reckless, aggressive behavior by Iran destabilizes the region and threatens the rules-based international order.”
The U.S. government reportedly seized four vessels loaded with Iranian fuel that allegedly violated the sanctions on the country imposed by the Trump administration.
The four vessels were recently seized on the high seas and are on their thanks to Houston, Texas, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing U.S. officials. Senior administration officials are expected to satisfy the tankers at a scheduled event to mark the docking.
The lawsuit aimed to prevent the flow of revenues from oil sales to Iran, which Washington has sanctioned over its nuclear program, ballistic missiles, and influence across the center East. Tehran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
The Bering went dark on May 11 within the Mediterranean near Greece and has not turned on its transponder since, while the Bella did an equivalent July 2 within the Philippines, Dallen said. The Luna and Pandi were last spotted once they were together within the Gulf of Oman on July 10 when the US seizure order came. Shipping data shows that the Pandi, which also goes by Andy, is reporting that it’s been “broken up,” or sold as scrap, Dallen said.
Military force wasn’t wont to take the vessels, consistent with the report.
The Trump administration has been stepping up pressure on ship owners to abide by sanctions against US adversaries like Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea. In May, it issued an advisory urging the worldwide maritime industry to get on the lookout for tactics to evade sanctions like dangerous ship-to-ship transfers and therefore the turning off of mandatory tracking devices – both techniques utilized in recent oil deliveries to and from both Iran and Venezuela.
One of the businesses involved within the shipment to Venezuela, the Avantgarde Group, was previously linked to the Revolutionary Guard and attempts to evade US sanctions, consistent with prosecutors.
The report, citing one official, said the vessels had been appropriated without the utilization of military unit but didn’t provide any details.
“When we win,” the president Trump says within the video, “we will have a deal (with Iran) within four weeks.“