A Hong Kong-flagged tanker ship was stormed by what are believed to be Iranian special operations troops near the Strait of Hormuz, causing quite a commotion.
The incident, which has not been confirmed by the Iranian government but was caught on film, involved the Hong Kong-flagged SC Taipei bound for Saudi Arabia, with 22 Chinese crew members aboard.
US Centcom Command posted a video of the incident in Twitter with the message (translated from Arabic), “Forces #إيرانية Accompanied by two Iranian ships and an Iranian “Sea King” helicopter, they seized and boarded in international waters today on board a ship called “Wila.”
Dryad Global, who has previously reported maritime boardings and incidents in the area, spoke on the matter.
“The detention of a vessel in the Strait of Hormuz would fit comfortably within previous Iranian intent and capability … and would provide an opportune ‘opening salvo’ in an Iranian attempt to release the pressures the country currently faces,” Dryad said Tuesday night.
According to AP News, the vessel was released after a few hours, likely due to the fact that it was a Chinese-owned ship.
“At a time when China still buys Iranian oil, and Iran has few international friends, such a move would be highly irregular and would not further Iran’s interests,” Dryad Global said.
The vessel belongs to the Shanghai-based Aoxing Ship Management, which was blacklisted by the US State Department for “knowingly engaging in a significant transaction for the purchase, acquisition, sale, transport or marketing of petrochemical products from Iran” despite American sanctions.
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