24 Indian crew on oil tanker seized by Iran: operator

Advantage Tankers says previous incidents show that crew caught up in similar incidents are in "no danger"



Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker Advantage Sweet, which, according to Refinitiv ship tracking data, is a Suezmax crude tanker which had been chartered by oil major Chevron and had last docked in Kuwait, sails through Bophorus Istanbul, Turkey, on February 11, 2023.  — Reuters
Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker Advantage Sweet, which, according to Refinitiv ship tracking data, is a Suezmax crude tanker which had been chartered by oil major Chevron and had last docked in Kuwait, sails through Bophorus Istanbul, Turkey, on February 11, 2023. — Reuters

By AFP

Published: Fri 28 Apr 2023, 4:43 PM

A US-bound oil tanker seized by Iran off the coast of Oman was carrying 24 Indian crew, the vessel's operator said on Friday, adding it was working to secure their release.

Previous incidents show that crew caught up in similar incidents are in "no danger", Advantage Tankers told AFP, after the tanker was seized on Thursday.

The Marshall Islands-flagged Advantage Sweet was being taken by Iran's navy to an unnamed port because of an "international dispute", the operator said in a statement.

"Advantage Sweet is currently being escorted by the Iranian Navy to a port on the basis of an international dispute," Advantage Tankers said in the statement sent to AFP.

"Similar experiences show that crew members of vessels taken under such circumstances are in no danger," it said, adding that the company was "in close touch with all the appropriate authorities to obtain the release of the crew and vessel".

Iran said it had crashed into one of its vessels, leaving two Iranian crew members missing and injuring several others.

The Islamic republic has yet to issue any details on the status or nationality of any other crew involved.

The US Navy demanded the ship's immediate release, slamming Iran's "continued harassment" in Gulf waters.

The vessel had picked up oil from Kuwait and was chartered by Chevron Corp, an Advantage Tankers spokesperson said. It was bound for Houston, Texas, according to the MarineTraffic tracking website.

Thursday's seizure was the latest disruptive incident in the sensitive waters of the Gulf, which carry about a third of the world's seaborne oil.

Such incidents have escalated since 2018 when the US withdrew from a multinational accord that froze Iran's nuclear programme. Marathon talks to restart the accord have stalled.

The latest seizure came only days after Tehran's Western rivals toughened sanctions on Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. — AFP


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