Iran has threatened to retaliate as the U.S. begins to offload cargo from a seized tanker carrying sanctioned crude oil
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps released footage on Saturday showing Iranian forces confronting U.S. naval forces in the Strait of Hormuz.
The incident, dated last Thursday, came as U.S. warships entered the gateway to the Persian Gulf for the first time since 2021, responding to Iranian seizures and harassment of oil tankers.
IRGC speed boats were seen in the video trailing the USS Bataan, which was carrying thousands of Marines as part of larger reinforcements to the area.
“Your helicopter is in the vicinity of my vessels, sometimes going into Iranian territorial waters,” Iranian forces radioed to the American warship. “Advised to take them on your boat and do not enter… Iranian territorial waters. If you do not obey my orders, we will open fire on your helicopters, over.”
Despite the U.S. vessel asserting it was “engaged in transit passage in accordance with international law,” the helicopters returned to their ship.
“Regional countries of the Persian Gulf are able to maintain security of the Persian Gulf on their own. There is absolutely no need for the presence of America or its European or non-European allies in the region,” IRGC chief General Hossein Salami said earlier this month.
Meanwhile, despite nearing a deal to release five U.S. citizens in exchange for billions of dollars in Iranian assets, Iran has remained vigilant over seizures of its tankers carrying sanctioned crude oil.
The Suez Rajan, an American-owned oil tanker long suspected of carrying sanctioned Iranian oil, began offloading its cargo to the MR Euphrates off the Texas coast, near Galveston, late Saturday. The move comes after months of delay, as Tehran has threatened to target shipping in the Persian Gulf in retaliation.
The seizure of the Suez Rajan prompted Iran to seize two tankers. This is what led the U.S. to beef up its presence in the flashpoint waterway and consider placing armed troops on commercial vessels, risking a direct clash with Iran.
Source » i24news