Advantage Tankers told AFP that previous similar cases show that the detained crew is “not in danger” after the tanker was seized on Thursday.
The company operating an oil tanker bound for the United States, and Iran seized it in the Gulf of Oman, announced that the ship was carrying 24 Indian crew members, and added on Friday that it was working to secure their release.
The company, “Advantage Tankers”, told AFP that previous similar cases showed that the detained crew was “not in danger” after the seizure of the tanker Thursday.
The company said in a statement that the Iranian navy had transferred the “Advantage Suite”, which flies the flag of the Marshall Islands, to an undisclosed port, due to an “international dispute”.
“The Iranian Navy is currently escorting the Advantage Suite to a port on the grounds of an international dispute,” Advantage Tankers said in the statement sent to Agence France-Presse.
She added, “Similar experiences show that crew members of ships detained in similar conditions are not at risk,” stressing that the company is “in close contact with all relevant authorities to reach the release of the crew and the ship.”
And Iran announced that the oil tanker collided with an Iranian ship, which led to the loss of two Iranians from its crew and the injury of others.
The Islamic Republic has not yet provided any details about the condition or nationality of any of the other crew members.
The US Navy demanded the immediate release of the ship, and criticized the “continued Iranian harassment” in the Gulf waters.
A spokesman for Advantage Tankers said the ship loaded oil from Kuwait and was chartered by Chevron Corp. And she left Kuwait heading to Houston, Texas, in the United States, according to the “Marine Traffic” website, which specializes in monitoring maritime traffic.
Oil export was considered one of Iran’s most important resources before 2018, when the United States unilaterally withdrew from the international agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program and re-imposed severe sanctions on it.
The issue of oil is a point of attraction between the two sides, as Washington accuses Tehran of circumventing sanctions to export its oil to countries such as China, Syria and Venezuela.
The detention of the tanker came days after Britain, the European Union and the United States tightened their sanctions against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards for human rights violations.
The waters captured on the tanker, near the Strait of Hormuz, are a narrow transit point for at least a third of the world’s seaborne oil.
In July 2019, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy detained the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero in the same waterway for allegedly hitting a fishing boat, releasing it two months later.