The United States said Friday it was sending reinforcements to the Gulf after what it called increasing harassment by Iran of ships in and around the Strait of Hormuz with the possible return of convoys being mulled by Washington and allies.
Iranian forces seized a 9,300 dwt product tanker called
Purity on Friday, a ship Iranian media claimed had been illegally used by a foreign company for five years. This marked the third tanker to be apprehended in the space of just over a fortnight.
On May 3 this year, the Panama-flagged, Greek-owned tanker Niovi was seized in the Strait of Hormuz. This seizure came after Iran captured the Marshall Islands-flagged suezmax crude tanker, Advantage Sweet six days earlier seemingly in retaliation for the US seizing an Iranian tanker a few days prior in an attempt to enforce sanctions.