Iran has essentially assumed responsibility for the boarding of the Greek-owned tanker “St. Nikolas” on Thursday by six men in military uniforms in the Gulf of Oman, according to a report by the Iranian State News Agency IRNA.
According to IRNA, the Iranian navy seized a ship in the area in question, without specifying whether it refers to the Greek-owned vessel.
“The Naval Forces of the Iranian Army announced the seizure of an American oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman with a court order,” IRNA reported, citing a statement from the country’s military on Thursday.
The tanker, which is linked to the Greek shipping company Empire Navigation, is on the Marshall Islands registry, and fields a crew of 18 Filipinos and one Greek national.
The vessel’s previous name was “Suez Rajan” and it had been involved in a year-long dispute that eventually led the U.S. Justice Department to seize one million barrels of Iranian crude oil it was transporting.
The six men who boarded the ship were wearing black military-style uniforms and black masks, and covered the surveillance cameras of the ship, according to statements made by private security firm Ambrey.