first published on July 17, 2019 by Will
A Panamanian-flagged oil tanker based in the United Arab Emirates went missing on Saturday While traveling through the Strait of Hormuz.
The 190-foot tanker Riah was last tracked heading towards Iranian territorial waters before it stopped transmitting over two days ago. Although it is unclear what became of the vessel, although Iran is a top suspect, considering they threatened retribution for the seizure of an Iranian supertanker carrying 2.1 million barrels of crude oil to Syria.
Multiple attacks against oil tankers and commercial vessels near the Strait of Hormuz in recent weeks have been pinned on Iran. Due to the high level of sophistication necessary to carry out the sabotage operations primitive entities like pirates have been ruled out.
Iran has recently threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz because of the US decision to uphold sanctions for major Iranian oil importers. Meanwhile, the US has been building up strike forces in the region, hinting at possible direct action against Iran.