Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

The IRGC said it had thwarted an attempt by the US Navy to ‘steal’ Iranian oil by force in October.

Tehran, Iran Iran has released a Vietnamese oil tanker it seized because it tried to “steal” its oil at the end of October after a confrontation with the US Navy in the Sea of ​​Oman.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) confirmed in a statement on Wednesday that the Sothys had been liberated, but made no mention of its crew or cargo.

Based on satellite imagery, TankerTrackers, which reports deliveries and storage of oil online, said Iran had seized the vessel’s $ 50 million worth of crude oil.

The IRGC reiterated its claim that the US wanted to steal its oil, “but the U.S. Navy’s naval operation was thwarted” after the group’s elite forces boarded the ship.

The IRGC seized the ship on October 24 after its troops boarded a helicopter in a helicopter operation. They were then confronted by U.S. naval vessels and aircraft, but warned them and returned the ship to Iranian coast.

Iran claims the US sought to seize its oil in an attempt to impose its unilateral sanctions imposed in 2018 after abandoning Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal.

‘Steal’ Iranian oil

But the US denied the claim, saying its forces were only there to monitor the situation and made no attempt to “steal” Iranian oil.

The incident was announced by the IRGC on November 3, a day before the 42nd anniversary of the takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran, an event that Iranian officials celebrate annually.

The IRGC held a ceremony on Wednesday to praise its members who took part in the “epic” operation to seize the Sothys, and Commander-in-Chief Hossein Salami said the “memorable” day would be recorded in history.

“This great victory was very limited and small in terms of geography and scale, but had a great impact in terms of the extent of it to humiliate the enemy,” he said.

During the ceremony, IRGC Commander Alireza Tangsiri referred to dramatic footage of the incident broadcast by Iranian state television, saying the US was lying that its forces were only there to monitor the situation.

“American ships were less than 30 meters [98.4 feet] away from our vessels and forces, ”he said. “If they just wanted to monitor, they could do it from longer distances or even use planes and drones.”

Iran held a large-scale military exercise east of Hormuz Street and in the Sea of ​​Oman earlier this week.

The incident comes as Iran and world powers travel to Vienna on November 29 to resume talks to restore the nuclear deal, which is likely to lead to the lifting of US sanctions on Tehran.

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