The confirmation of who was behind the attack comes after it was reported that Iran has seized an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman, a move likely to stoke regional tensions.

Iran has seized the St Nikolas vessel in the Gulf of Oman and is transferring it to an Iranian port, Tasnim News Agency, a semi-official news agency in Iran, reported Thursday.

The news agency ran a brief story acknowledging the seizure by Iran’s navy. It said the seizure came as a result of a judicial order.

The media outlet cited a statement from the Iranian Navy saying the seizure followed an order from an Iranian court.

The seizure also comes after weeks of attacks by Yemen’s Houthis on shipping in the Red Sea, including their largest barrage ever of drones and missiles launched late on Tuesday.

“This tanker whose name was changed to St Nicholas and carrying oil in the Oman sea was seized in retaliation for the theft of oil by the American regime, with an order from the judicial courts, and is being transferred to ports of the Islamic Republic to be delivered to the judicial authorities,” the semi-official news agency reported, citing a statement by the Navy.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKTMO), received a report of a vessel boarded by 4-5 armed persons in an area 50 nautical miles east of Sohar, Oman.

“Unauthorised boarders are reported to be wearing military style black uniforms with black masks,” UKMTO said.

“CSO reports vessel has altered course towards Iranian territorial waters and communications with the vessel have been lost. CSO reports hearing unknown voices over the phone along with the Masters voice.”

“The tanker which the Iranians have boarded today in the Gulf of Oman is the ST NIKOLAS (9524475); carrying Iraqi oil. Formerly known as the SUEZ RAJAN; she was seized by the US government for having transported a million barrels of Iranian oil in connection to a US company,”, Inc. posted in X (former twitter).

As Shipping Telegraph reported on September 19, 2023 the US Department of Justice confirmed on September 8 that it had seized the Marshall Islands-flagged tanker Suez Rayan and its cargo of more than 980,000 barrels.

The US government seized the allegedly Iranian oil, that was bound for another country.

The US Justice Department claimed that on April 19, Suez Rajan Limited pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

On that same date, in accordance with the statement released by the US Justice Department on September 8, the company was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Carl J. Nichols to three years of corporate probation and a fine of almost $2.5 million.