US rejects Iranian claim of naval interaction in Gulf of Oman

US rejects Iranian claim of naval interaction in Gulf of Oman

US officials rejected a claim from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard that they had prevented the US Navy from confiscating Iranian crude oil aboard a tanker in the Gulf of Oman.

Two officials say the Navy was monitoring an incident, which happened last week, when several Iranian fast boats approached a Vietnamese-flagged tanker and boarded the ship in international waters. The Iranian forces then sailed the ship into Iran’s territorial waters, the officials said.

The US was monitoring the situation, but there was no interaction between the two US destroyers in the area and the Iranian fast boats, such as warning shots or contacts between the vessels, one official said.

This is Iran “doing what they do and spinning this thing,” a defense official said. “We didn’t try to take anything back. We monitored.”

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard claimed they stopped US forces from confiscating Iranian crude oil on the tanker in the Gulf of Oman. According to Iranian state-media quoting the IRGC, US warships and helicopters “chased the tanker” in an attempt to take it over but failed.

Iran had said that US forces boarded a tanker, unloaded crude oil onto another tanker, before IRGC Navy carried out a “heliborne operation on the stolen ships deck” and directed it back to Iranian territorial waters.

The US is trying to better understand where the vessel and its cargo came from, the official added, and whether transferred oil at some point along its route.

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