The US military confiscated the Iranian tanker loaded with crude oil in the Sea of Oman, which connects the Arabian Sea with the Strait of Hormuz, and unloaded its shipment to another tanker before directing it to an unknown destination.
Reacting promptly, however, members of the IRGC’s Navy carried out a heliborne operation on the stolen ship’s deck, gained control of the vessel, and directed it back toward Iran’s territorial.
US forces then proceeded to chase the tanker using several helicopters and warships, but their attempt at taking over the vessel for a second time was thwarted again by Iranian naval forces.
The tanker is currently in Iranian territorial waters and under the protection of IRGC’s Navy.
Tensions between Tehran and Washington have exacerbated after former US President Donald Trump nixed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May 2018 and re-imposed the anti-Iran sanctions that the deal had lifted.
He also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign, which is mainly aimed at blocking the country’s oil exports and depriving the Iranian nation of its energy revenues.
The fate of the JCPOA is currently in doubt as Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, continues to stick with the previous administration pressure tactics in dealing with Iran.