Iran seized a Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman in international waters on Thursday, the US Navy said, the latest in a series of several seizures of commercial vessels in Gulf waters in the past couple of years.
The navy said the seizure of the Advantage Sweet by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy disrupts regional security and stability and called on Tehran to immediately release the tanker.
Iranian authorities did not immediately respond to a request for comment by Reuters
The ship, a Suezmax oil tanker built in 2012, issued a distress call during the seizure, the navy statement said.
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According to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) shipping database, the Advantage Sweet is owned by a China-registered company called SPDBFL No One Hundred & Eighty-Seven (Tianjin) Ship Leasing Co Ltd.
Its manager is listed as Genel Denizcilik Nakliyati AS.
The navy said Iran has in the past two years unlawfully seized at least five commercial vessels in the Middle East.
Iran in November released two Greek-flagged tankers that it seized in the Gulf in May.