A ship may have been hijacked off the coast of the United Arab Emirates off the coast of Oman. The British Maritime Warning Center (UKMTO) on Tuesday issued a warning about an “incident” 60 nautical miles east of the Fujairah Emirate. It said all nearby ships should “be very careful”. Shortly afterwards the UKMTO issued another warning about “possible kidnapping”.
According to Triad Global, which specializes in maritime security, the ship “Asphalt Princess” is to be engaged under the flag. Panamas Moving tankers. The Omani Air Force has been operating in the region with maritime reconnaissance aircraft. On the Flightradar24 website a spy plane was spotted circling the area concerned. Is between the Gulf of Oman Oman And Iran.
Initially there was no official confirmation of the incident. It is unclear how many ships were initially involved and who could be behind the alleged hijacking.
The gunmen are said to have hijacked British tankers
The British “Times” quoted government sources as saying that eight or more armed “forces” had taken control of the “Princess Asphalt”. Government London Assume that Iran or its allies are responsible for this abduction. The UK Foreign Office said in a statement that it was “investigating an incident involving a ship off the coast of the United Arab Emirates”.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry described the incident as “suspicious” and warned against further unsubstantiated allegations against Iran. “This series of incidents involving ships in the Persian Gulf is highly questionable and suspicious,” said Syed Satyapathe, a spokesman for the Foreign Office. After all, incidents should not be used as an excuse to implement specific political goals in the region. Shipping in the Persian Gulf is very important to Iran, so Tehran is also ready to provide its assistance, a spokesman for the ISNA news agency said.
A tense situation prevails in the region
Ships enter the Persian Gulf via the Gulf of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz. This route is considered one of the most important sea links for international trade.
The situation in the region is particularly tense for the ship. There were repeated incidents. Most recently, a British man and Romanian captain were killed in a drone attack on the “Mercer Street” oil tanker in the Persian Gulf. Great Britain, Romania, Israel The United States has also blamed Iran for the incident. Iran rejected one item.
The background to the escalating tensions in the Middle East in recent years is, among other things, the controversy over the international nuclear deal with Iran. The United States unilaterally terminated the agreement in May 2018. Since then, there have been numerous incidents and acts of sabotage against oil tankers and attacks on oil facilities in the Gulf. The most recent events also come just days before the new opening ceremony Iranian Chairman Ibrahim Raisi.