Due to rising tensions between Iran on one side and the United States and its partners on the other side, one 190-foot oil tanker named the Riah based in the United Araba Emirates disappeared in the Persian Gulf as it stopped transmitting its locations when it passed through Iranian waters two days ago.
The situation with the tanker is suspicious as Captain Ranjith Raja of the data firm Refinitiv was talking with The Associated Press on Tuesday as he said that the tanker had not switched off it’s tracking in three months of trips around the United Arab Emirates.
‘’That is a red flag,’’ said Raja.
This is not the first time that oil tankers have been targeted in the Persian Gulf as the tensions between Iran and other western countries continue to rise due to the U.S. pulling out of the nuclear deal with Iran.
Recently, Iran has inched its uranium production and enrichment over the limits of its 2015 nuclear deal, trying to put more pressure on Europe to offer it better terms and allow it to sell its crude oil abroad. However, those tensions also have seen the U.S send thousands of additional troops, nuclear-capable B-52 bombers, and advanced fighter jets into the Middle East. Mysterious attacks on oil tankers and Iran shooting down a U.S military surveillance drone has added the fears of an armed conflict breaking out, according to Fox News.
Officials from both Iran, the United States, and the United Arab Emirates have not made comments on the situation yet.
According to a statement made by the ship’s owner Dubai-based Prime Tankers LLC in The Associated Press, the ship was sold to another company named Mouj Al-Bahar.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, issued a statement on Tuesday in which he said that Iran will retaliate over the seizure of an Iranian supertanker carrying 2.1 million barrels of light crude oil.