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TankerTrackers Locates Seized Tanker off Iran's Qeshm Island

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

January 14, 2024

© Vladimir / Adobe Stock

© Vladimir / Adobe Stock

The Marshall Islands-flagged tanker seized by Iran in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday has been located east of Iran's Qeshm Island, monitoring service TankerTrackers.com said in a post on social media platform X.

Iran seized the St Nikolas, loaded with Iraqi crude destined for Turkey, in retaliation for the confiscation last year of the same vessel and its Iranian oil cargo by the United States, Iranian state media reported.

"The Greek-owned, UK-insured and Marshall Islands-flagged Suezmax tanker ST NIKOLAS...laden with 1 million barrels of Iraqi crude oil, has been located today east of Qeshm Island, Iran...AIS (ship tracking) is offline," TankerTrackers said in its post on Saturday.

The U.S. had seized the ship in a sanctions enforcement operation when it sailed under the name Suez Rajan, with Iran warning that the move would "not go unanswered".

The semi-official Fars news agency on Thursday cited a navy statement saying that the St Nikolas tanker was en route to Iranian ports.

The seizure of St Nikolas coincides with weeks of attacks by Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi militias targeting Red Sea shipping routes.

(Reuters - Reporting by Enas Alashray; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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