U.S. Naval Forces Central Command reported that the Advantage Sweet, “a Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker… was seized by the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy while transiting international waters in the Gulf of Oman”. It called on Iran to “immediately release the oil tanker”, and noted: “Iran’s continued harassment of vessels and interference with navigational rights in regional waters are a threat to maritime security and the global economy”. Iran’s Navy stated that the tanker was detained because it had “collided with an Iranian boat in the Gulf of Oman and tried to flee… two members of boat’s crew are missing and several were injured”. However, the company managing the vessel, which was travelling from Kuwait to the U.S., reportedly “had no knowledge of a collision”. The following day, media reports indicated that the U.S. had seized a China-bound shipment of Iranian crude prior to the Advantage Sweet incident, with an unnamed U.S. official quoted as saying that the latter “appears to be in retaliation”.
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