US attempts to seize tanker off Oman Sea foiled, Iran says

Iran’s state TV announced that Iranian security forces thwarted US attempts to seize an oil tanker in the Sea of Oman.

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On Wednesday, Iran state TV announced that the US attempts to seize a tanker carrying Iranian oil was thwarted by Iranian forces last week.”

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) issued a statement, indicating, “With the timely and authoritative action of the Guards’ naval forces, the US Navy’s operation to steal Iranian oil in the Sea of Oman failed.”

Before Iran’s naval forces intervened, the US forces had transferred the oil into another vessel and sent it to an “unknown route,” according to the IRGC’s statement published by the Iranian state media on Wednesday.

The statement also noted that “The tanker carrying Iran’s oil docked at the port of Bandar Abbas on October 25.”

On the other hand, US officials, who asked to remain anonymous, denied the Iranian claims and stated that there was no US attempt as it was alleged. Instead, they asserted that US naval forces were surveilling a Vietnamese-flagged oil tanker seized by Iranian forces last month.

At the same time, the timing of the report is deemed remarkable as it coincided with the eve of the anniversary of the takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran. On November 4, 1979, Iranian students occupied the US facility and took over 50 US citizens hostage for 444 days.

The timing of the report can be considered as a clear message that Tehran delivered to Washington, which claims that Iran does not refrain from US presence in the Sea of Oman or in the Strait of Hormuz.

Meanwhile, the incident came after Iran reached an agreement with its European partners to resume the negotiations aiming to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement. Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister and head of the negotiating team in nuclear talks, Ali Bagheri Kani, announced that the talks in Vienna will restart on November 29.

Kani tweeted late on Wednesday that they have agreed with EU officials to start the negotiations aiming at “the removal of unlawful & inhumane sanctions on 29 November in Vienna.”

Yet, the disagreement between Tehran and Washington still exists. The head of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, said on Wednesday that negotiations to revive Iran’s 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers will fail unless US President Joe Biden can guarantee that Washington will not abandon the pact again.

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