'Potential hijack' of oil tanker in Gulf of Oman; Tehran denies responsibility

The incident follows an attack on an Israeli-managed oil tanker last week.
oil tanker

August 3, 2021 4:12pm

Updated: August 3, 2021 5:14pm

A commercial oil tanker was captured in the Gulf of Oman on Tuesday, according to reports.

A "potential hijack" in waters near the United Arab Emirates was announced by the United Kingdom's maritime trade agency on Aug. 3, Reuters reported.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards denied action against any ship off the UAE coast by Iranian forces or its allies, adding that the incident was being used as a pretext for "hostile action" against the state, according to Reuters.

The allegedly seized vessel is the Panama-flagged asphalt/bitumen tanker Asphalt Princess. It was transiting the Arabian Sea  leading to the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world's seaborne oil exports are transported, the outlet reported.

The U.S. Department of State said it was concerned, and is investigating the reports of a Gulf of Oman maritime incident. The U.K. foreign ministry was "urgently investigating" an incident along the UAE coast involving a vessel.

Last week, two crew members were killed in an attack on an Israeli-managed tanker off the Omani coast. The U.S., U.K., and Israel blamed Iran, but the country denied responsibility.