© Reuters. A handout picture shows the Thalassa Desgagnes tanker, now known as Asphalt Princess, in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada on June 19, 2016. Kevin D. Majewski/Handout via REUTERS


DUBAI (Reuters)-According to a report by the British Maritime Trade Agency on Wednesday, the crew has left an oil tanker. According to maritime sources, the tanker was seized off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and the ship is safe.

Three maritime security forces told Reuters on Tuesday that the Asphalt/Asphalt tanker Asphalt Princess was seized by forces suspected of Iran’s support, which Iran denied.

According to Refinitiv ship tracking data, the AIS tracking status of the Panamanian Asphalt Princess was “engine in use” early Wednesday.

The UK Maritime Trade Organization (UKMTO) stated that the potential hijacking incident it described was “completed” but did not provide detailed information in the warning notice based on a third-party source. It did not name the ships involved.

The incident occurred in the area from the Arabian Sea to the Strait of Hormuz, which accounts for one-fifth of the world’s offshore oil exports.

The senior spokesperson of the Iranian Armed Forces, Abofazil Shekach, on Tuesday condemned reports of maritime incidents and hijackings in the Gulf region as “a kind of psychological warfare that paved the way for a new round of adventurism.”

The United States stated that it is too early to make a judgment on reports of maritime incidents in the Gulf of Oman.

Last week, an Israeli-managed oil tanker was attacked by a suspected drone off the coast of Oman, killing two crew members. The United States, Israel and the United Kingdom blamed Iran for this, and tensions in the region rose. Iran denies responsibility for this.

The United States and the United Kingdom have stated that they will cooperate with their allies to deal with the attack on a Japanese oil products tanker flying the Liberian flag on Mercer Street.

Tehran has stated that it will respond to any threats to its security.

Since Washington abandoned the 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and global powers in 2018, Washington has re-imposed sanctions on Iran, and regional tensions have deteriorated since 2018.

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