5 July 2023

The U.S. military reported that its “forces prevented two attempted commercial tanker seizures by the Iranian Navy after the Iranians have opened fire in one of the incidents near the coast of Oman”. According to a statement from U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, “one Iranian naval vessel approached the Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker TRF Moss in international waters in the Gulf of Oman. The Iranian vessel departed the scene when U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul (DDG 74) arrived on station”. Subsequently, “the U.S. Navy received a distress call from Bahamian-flagged oil tanker Richmond Voyager… Another Iranian naval vessel had closed within one mile of Richmond Voyager while hailing the commercial tanker to stop… Prior to McFaul’s arrival on scene, Iranian personnel fired multiple, long bursts from both small arms and crew-served weapons. Richmond Voyager sustained no casualties or significant damage. However, several rounds hit the ship’s hull near crew living spaces. The Iranian navy vessel departed when McFaul arrived”. The following day, Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organisation claimed that Richmond Voyager had “ignored basic international maritime laws by escaping the scene of a collision with an Iranian vessel”, in which it said five crew members had been injured. It further noted: “Iran has informed Omani authorities of the case and will continue efforts to confiscate the ship”. Chevron, which managed the Richmond Voyager, denied Iran’s claims.

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