Tanker seized by Iran located off Qeshm Island in Persian Gulf

Tanker seized by Iran located off Qeshm Island in Persian Gulf

Iran seized the St Nikolas, loaded with Iraqi crude destined for Turkey, in retaliation for the confiscation last year of the same vessel and its Iranian oil cargo by the US, Iranian state media said

By REUTERS

Updated: JANUARY 13, 2024 16:16
Fast-attack crafts from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy swarming Panama-flagged oil tanker Niovi as it transits the Strait of Hormuz from Dubai to port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, Arabian Gulf early hours of May 3, 2023. (photo credit: US NAVAL FORCES CENTRAL COMMAND/US 5TH FLEET/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
Fast-attack crafts from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy swarming Panama-flagged oil tanker Niovi as it transits the Strait of Hormuz from Dubai to port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, Arabian Gulf early hours of May 3, 2023.
(photo credit: US NAVAL FORCES CENTRAL COMMAND/US 5TH FLEET/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

The Marshall Islands-flagged tanker seized by Iran in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday has been located east of Iran’s Qeshm Island, monitoring service TankerTrackers.com said in a post on social media platform X.

Iran seized the St Nikolas, loaded with Iraqi crude destined for Turkey, in retaliation for the confiscation last year of the same vessel and its Iranian oil cargo by the United States, Iranian state media reported.

How much oil was taken?

“The Greek-owned, UK-insured and Marshall Islands-flagged Suezmax tanker ST NIKOLAS…laden with 1 million barrels of Iraqi crude oil, has been located today east of Qeshm Island, Iran…AIS (ship tracking) is offline,” TankerTrackers said in its post on Saturday.

The US had seized the ship in a sanctions enforcement operation when it sailed under the name Suez Rajan, with Iran warning that the move would “not go unanswered.”

Fast-attack crafts from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy swarming Panama-flagged oil tanker Niovi as it transits the Strait of Hormuz from Dubai to port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, Arabian Gulf early hours of May 3, 2023. (credit: US NAVAL FORCES CENTRAL COMMAND/US 5TH FLEET/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

The semi-official Fars news agency on Thursday cited a navy statement saying that the St Nikolas tanker was en route to Iranian ports.

The seizure of St Nikolas coincides with weeks of attacks by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militias targeting Red Sea shipping routes.

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