Security Operation: Iran Seizes Tanker Off Qeshm Island

Oman coastline
Updated Published

CAIRO (Reuters) – The tanker flagged under the Marshall Islands, which Iran seized in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, has been pinpointed to the east of Iran's Qeshm Island, as reported by on the X social media platform.

According to reports from Iranian state media, the seizure of St Nikolas, carrying Iraqi crude bound for Turkey, was an act of retaliation in response to the United States' confiscation of the same vessel and its cargo of Iranian oil last year.

On Saturday, TankerTrackers reported the current location of the Suezmax tanker, which is owned by a Greek entity, insured in the UK, and flying the Marshall Islands flag. The vessel, carrying 1 million barrels of Iraqi crude oil, was identified east of Qeshm Island, Iran. Notably, the AIS (ship tracking) system for the tanker is currently offline.

The ship was seized by the United States in a sanctions enforcement operation while it was sailing under the name Suez Rajan. Iran issued a warning, emphasizing that there would be a response to this move.

On Thursday, the semi-official Fars news agency reported, citing a statement from the navy, that the St Nikolas tanker was on its way to Iranian ports.

The capture of St. Nikolas aligns with a series of assaults over the past few weeks conducted by the Houthi militias in Yemen, which are supported by Iran. These attacks specifically focus on disrupting shipping routes in the Red Sea.