On Wednesday (July 5), the U.S. Navy reported that Iranian naval forces tried to seize two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.
They also fired on a merchant vessel but were stopped by an American battleship. The U.S. Navy posted a video of the incident.
According to the U.S., an Iranian naval vessel approached an oil tanker sailing to the Marshall Islands flag in international waters at approximately 1 a.m. on Wednesday. However, the American guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul prevented any confrontation from occurring.
According to the U.S. Navy 5th Fleet, the Bahamian-flagged oil tanker Richmond Voyager sent a distress call while traveling in international waters near Muscat, Oman. The ship was headed towards the Arabian Sea when the tanker made the call approximately three hours later.
The Richmond Voyager was approached by an Iranian vessel that came within an inch of 1 mile of it.
The Iranian ship tried to stop the tanker and even fired on it. Fortunately, the USS McFaul arrived in time to prevent any further action from the Iranian ship. No one was hurt on the Richmond Voyager, but the U.S. Navy reported that bullets penetrated the boat’s hull near the living quarters
The U.S. Navy has released a video of the Richmond Voyager trying to escape from an Iranian vessel firing at a merchant tanker.
Recently, Iranian naval forces have successfully seized oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, including one heading to Texas in April and another a week later, leading to the brazen recent encounter.
The Strait of Hormuz between Iran and the Gulf of Oman is an essential pathway for oil transportation worldwide. Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, the head of the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, the U.S. 5th Fleet, and Combined Maritime Forces expressed his satisfaction with his team’s prompt action in preventing a potential seizure on Wednesday.
According to the U.S. Navy, Iran has been involved in about 20 incidents where they have harassed, attacked, or seized internationally flagged merchant vessels since 2021.
Cooper also stated the U.S. Navy is prepared to protect maritime rights in these vital waters.