Iran Accuses US Navy to Attempting to Steal Oil Tanker

( Wednesday, Iran’s state-run media claimed that the Iranian military had thwarted an attempt by a US vessel to “steal” a tanker full of Iranian oil in the Gulf of Oman. But US Pentagon officials are denying the claim.

The incident in question involved two US Navy destroyers that were sent to monitor a Vietnamese flagged vessel that had been seized by Iranian Revolutionary Guards. However, Pentagon officials said that there was no attempt by the Navy to intervene, let alone seize the tanker’s cargo.

Neither the Biden administration nor the US Navy’s 5th Fleet, which has responsibility for US Naval operations in the Persian Gulf area, issued an immediate official response to Iran’s accusation. And while Iran’s state media did accuse the US, no official comment has been made by the regime.

Iran’s Mehr news agency’s report described a confrontation between elite IRGC forces in speedboats and an American vessel in international waters in the Gulf of Oman.

Mehr alleged that the US vessel attempted to block the tanker carrying Iranian oil, but was deterred by the Revolutionary Guard. Some reports even suggested American personnel had boarded the tanker during the incident.

According to the report in Mehr, the tanker was taken by the IRGC and escorted back into Iran’s territorial waters.

Then on Wednesday night, Iranian media aired footage from the Revolutionary Guards that purportedly showed the incident. In the video, two US Navy warships can be seen near a large tanker and smaller Iranian military vessels.

In some of the clips, Iranian forces can be seen pointing ship-mounted guns at the Navy warships. An Iranian military helicopter comes into view and is seen dropping troops onto the deck of the tanker, where they fan out with guns drawn.

This controversy comes as the US and Western nations work to bring Iran back to the negotiating table to discuss the nuclear deal.

Ali Shamkhani, the head of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, tweeted on Wednesday that President Biden lacks the authority and is not ready to give guarantees to any deal between the two countries. He warned that if the “current status quo continues” future negotiations couldn’t be guaranteed.