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Iranian maritime attacks are growing bolder in the world’s most policed waters.
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09/22/2021
 

Iran Pushes Into the Gulf of Oman

Iranian maritime attacks are growing bolder in the world’s most policed waters.

BY JOSHUA TAYLOR

Iranian gunmen attempted to hijack the tanker Asphalt Princess off the coast of Oman on August 3. In an audio recording leaked to the Associated Press, crew members reported five to six armed Iranians boarding the vessel. At 5 p.m. GMT, the ship reported its last location before steering toward Iran. The crew jumped into action to save the tanker by sabotaging the engines. By the time United States and Omani naval forces arrived the next day, the gunmen had fled the ship. No injuries or deaths were reported.

The attempted hijacking came days after Iran attacked the Israel-managed Mercer Street tanker with a suicide drone on July 29. The drone killed a Briton and a Romanian when it struck the roof of the bridge. Britain, Romania and the U.S. reported that the evidence points to Iran.

Until recently, Iran has kept most of its attacks confined to the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz. With the recent attacks, however, Iran is aggressively expanding its naval reach. Iran wants the world to know that it controls the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman; if you pass through those waters, Iran can reach you.

 

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