Dryad Reporting indicates that the South Korean flagged Chemical Tanker HANKUK CHEMI (IMO9232369) has diverted from her course northwards while inbound to Fujairah from Al Jubail. Unconfirmed reporting indicates that the vessel has been detained by Iranian forces.
The vessel has a crew of 23 comprising of Indonesian and Burmese nationals.
The precise details of the incident remains unclear. This latest incident comes at a time of increased tension throughout the region. On the 31st of December 2o2o, a limpet mine was discovered attached to the hull of the Liberian flagged M/T POLA ivo Al Bakr Oil Terminal. The placement of mines and the detention of vessels within the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman is activity previously attributed to Iranian forces. The IRGC and wider Iranian forces have a well-established practice of combining both attributable and non-attributable activity to control security narratives in the region. By creating conditions of insecurity, Iran seeks to destabilise existing rules of law and order, challenging the Saudi and American coalitions which militarily control much of the Middle East.