Suddenly the temperature rises again along it Strait of Hormuz, where the US military confirmed the seizure of an oil tanker by the Iranian navy. “Today, in international waters, Iranian forces, including two ships and an Iranian Sea King helicopter, have reached and boarded a ship called Wila”: this is the message written on Twitter by the United States Central Command (Centcom).
The yellow of the hijacked shipThe text was also accompanied by a video, in black and white, in which some Iranian special units were seen descending from a helicopter on the bridge of the oil, seized for a few hours. According to reports from Bloomberg, the ship was located near the Strait of Hormutz, a key hub through which a third of oil supplies transit.
The vessel, flying the Liberian flag, came from the east coast of the United Arab Emirates. According to the maritime security firm Dryad Global, Wila is a ship owned by a Greek company. In July, the same vessel had docked in Iraq, near Basra. A US military officer told the Associated Press that the kidnapping lasted five hours, it would end on Wednesday.
The tanker did not make distress calls, neither before nor during nor after the seizure. The mystery is also fueled by the fact that, as of now, the reasons of the ship block. Neither the media nor government members have received confirmation from the Iranian front. Officials from the United Arab Emirates, allies of the United States, have not provided comments on the affair. At the moment, therefore, we can only speculate. For example, the fact that Iran suspected the oil tanker was a spy ship cannot be ruled out
Tensions between Washington and TehranThe one just described is certainly not the first episode of its kind. Over the past year, in the troubled waters of the Gulf, there have been several accidents between the United States and Iran, more or less serious. In July 2019, for example, the pasdaran, that is the Guardians of the Islamic revolution, had seized the British oil tanker Stena Impero. Subsequently, at least six other ships were blocked by Iran on charges of fuel trafficking.
Recall that the recent escalation tensions between Washington and Tehran began in 2018, when Donald Trump announced the unilateral withdrawal of the US from the Iran nuclear program agreement. The following economic sanctions imposed on the Iranian government have blown the fragile balance.