Iran’s Revolutionary Guard seizes tanker in Strait of Hormuz

This still image from video released by the U.S. Navy shows the Panama-flagged oil tanker Niovi surrounded by Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels in the Strait of Hormuz Wednesday, May 3, 2023. (U.S. Navy via AP)
This still image from video released by the U.S. Navy shows the Panama-flagged oil tanker Niovi surrounded by Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels in the Strait of Hormuz Wednesday, May 3, 2023. (U.S. Navy via AP)

Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard seizes a Panamanian-flagged oil tanker in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, the second such capture by Tehran in under a week amid heightened tensions over its nuclear program.

The taking of the oil tanker Niovi renews concerns about Iran threatening maritime traffic in the strait, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which a fifth of all crude passes. It also comes amid the disappearance of a crude oil tanker in southeast Asia believed to be carrying Iranian crude oil amid reports it may have been seized by the US.

The US Navy published surveillance footage shot by an aerial drone of about dozen Guard vessels swarming the tanker around 6:20 a.m. The drone had been on a routine patrol in the area and saw the seizure, though the Navy did not receive a distress call from the Niovi itself, 5th Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Timothy Hawkins says.

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