Dubai / London — Iran-backed troops are believed to have seized oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, a British maritime trade agency said on Tuesday a “potential takeover” in the region. After reporting, three maritime security sources said.
Two sources have identified the vessel as a Panama-registered asphalt / bitumen tanker asphalt princess in the region of the Arabian Sea, which connects to the Strait of Hormuz, where about one-fifth of the world’s oil and sea oil exports flow. Did.
Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has previously stated that reports of a security incident involving several ships near the United Arab Emirates coast on Tuesday were “suspicious” and efforts to create a “false atmosphere” for the Islamic Republic. Warned about.
Tensions have increased in the region after two crew members were killed in an Israeli-controlled tanker attack off the Omani coast last week and Iran was accused by the United States, Israel and the United Kingdom. Iran denied responsibility.
The Bahrain-based US Navy’s Fifth Fleet and UAE officials did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment on the incident on Tuesday.
The UK Maritime Trade Authority (UKMTO) has previously reported a “potential hijacking” in a warning notice based on a third-party source and has been on board for an incident about 60 nautical miles east of Fujairah in the UAE. I advised you to pay close attention. Emirate.
The British Times also reported that the asphalt princess had been hijacked, and British sources said they “worked on the premise that Iranian troops or agents boarded the ship.”
On Tuesday afternoon, at least five vessels in the sea between the United Arab Emirates and Iran updated their AIS tracking status to “not under command,” according to Refinitiv vessel tracking data. Such a condition usually indicates that the ship cannot be steered due to exceptional circumstances.
Reuters could not confirm that this Refinitiv data was related to the reported incident.
The United States and Britain said on Sunday that they would work with allies to respond to last week’s attack on Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime-controlled Liberia-flagged Japanese-owned petroleum tanker Mercer Street.
Iran denied involvement in the suspicious drone attack and said on Monday that it would respond swiftly to any threat to its security.
Long-time adversaries Iran and Israel have been accused of attacking each other’s ships in recent months.
Lisa Barrington and Jonathan Sole