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Chevron tanker damaged Iranian vessel, escaped into Oman waters: Iran

Iran says a tanker owned by US energy company Chevron damaged an Iranian vessel in the Persian Gulf.

Iran’s maritime authority says it is seeking to confiscate a tanker owned by US energy company Chevron that damaged an Iranian vessel in the Persian Gulf on July 5 before illegally rerouting to territorial waters of Oman.

Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) said in a Thursday statement that the Richmond Voyager had ignored basic international maritime laws by escaping the scene of a collision with an Iranian vessel after an incident that happened in international waters in southern Iran a day earlier.

The statement said five people had been seriously injured in the collision between the Bahamas-flagged tanker and the Iranian ship which was carrying seven crew members when the incident took place. It added that the incident had caused flooding on board the Iranian vessel.

The PMO said Iranian Navy forces then sought to seize the ship based on a court order and upon a request by the owner of the damaged ship.

“The ship rerouted and entered the territorial waters of Oman without heeding warnings and cautions issued by the Iranian Navy,” it said, adding that Iran has informed Omani authorities of the case and will continue efforts to confiscate the ship because of its violation of international maritime laws.

The statement came a day after the US Navy said it had sent its guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul to prevent Iran from seizing the Richmond Voyager.

The PMO did not mention the involvement of US Navy forces in the incident.

Meanwhile, the US Navy said on Thursday in had monitored a separate incident in the Persian Gulf where naval forces of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) confiscated a commercial vessel allegedly for involvement in smuggling.

The IRGC has yet to comment on the alleged confiscation although Iranian naval forces and coast guards normally seize ships that are involved in fuel smuggling in international waters in southern Iran.

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