US & Saudi Arabia Blame Iran For Oil Tanker Attacks In Gulf Of Oman


Mike Pompeo has said that the United States blames Iran for attacks on two oil tankers along the world’s most important oil chokepoint.

Saudi Arabia says it agrees with the US that Iran was behind the attacks.

Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir told CNN on Thursday: “We have no reason to disagree with the secretary of state. We agree with him….Iran has a history of doing this.”

Britain has also agreed with the US and said that Iran is responsible warning Tehran that their actions were “deeply unwise.” 

As tensions escalate to boiling point between the US and Iran, could we be witnessing a false flag to demonize the Islamic republic and ignite a conflict in the region?

Moscow has warned against making rash conclusions. Russia’s Deputy PM Sergey Ryabkov said “we’re recently witnessing an escalating campaign of psychological, political and military pressure against Iran,” carried out by the US and its allies in the region.

Sputnik news reports: Two oil tankers were hit in an apparent attack in the Strait of Hormuz, about 70 nautical miles from the UAE port of Fujairah and about 14 nautical miles off Iran’s coast.

One of the vessels was the Aframax-class Kokuka Courageous tanker, registered in Panama and operated by the Singapore-based Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement.

The other was the Front Altair, a Marshall Islands-flagged crude oil tanker owned by Norway’s Frontline.

How Serious Was the Damage?

This is where some media outlets contradict each other.

Bernhard Schulte said that Kokuka Courageous was “safely afloat”, but its starboard hull was breached above the water line. Its 21 crew members had safely abandoned the tanker, with one crew member being slightly injured.

Kokuka’s cargo of methanol was intact, according to a spokesperson for the vessel’s manager.

Meanwhile, Iran’s state-run IRNA reported that Front Altair, which was carrying 75,000 tonnes of naphtha, had sunk.

Frontline chief executive Robert Hvide Macleod was quick to debunk the report. “I can confirm that the vessel has NOT sunk,” he said in a statement to AFP, adding that the 23 people on board were “all safe.”

Maritime intelligence firm Dryad Global said the ship hadn’t sunk but was “on fire and adrift.” Aerial footage from the area appeared to show that a huge blaze resulted from the incident.

Who Rescued the Sailors?

While both Frontline and Bernhard Schulte confirmed that the crews were safe, controversy aroused as to who rescued them.

The IRNA reported that Iranian recuse teams evacuated the 44 sailors from both vessels and took them to the Iranian port of Jask. However, US officials were quoted by CBS as calling these claims “patently false.”

Shipping newspaper TradeWinds reported, citing sources that were close to the site, that Frontline’s crew was picked up by South Korean cargo ship Hyundai Dubai.

Meanwehile, Tradewinds said, citing industry sources, that the two tankers were torpedoed.

Iranian media, which were among the first to break the news about the incident, said two consecutive explosions were heard in the area.

Iran’s foreign minister said the timing of the suspected attacks is “suspicious” as they coincided with the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Iran to cool mounting tensions with the US.

The US Navy’s Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet also reported earlier in the day that it was rendering assistance the vessels after they had sent distress signals to ports in the vicinity.

Was It an Attack?

There has been no immediate confirmation, but several sources suggest that the vessels were likely struck by torpedoes. Norway’s maritime authority said that Front Altair was “attacked” and there were three blasts reported.

Meanwehile, Tradewinds said, citing industry sources, that the two tankers were torpedoed.

Iranian media, which were among the first to break the news about the incident, said two consecutive explosions were heard in the area.

What Was the Reaction?

Unnamed US defence officials were quick to blame Tehran, telling CBS it was “highly likely Iran caused these attacks”.

According to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, Donald Trump has been briefed on the incident while the government “is providing assistance and will continue to assess the situation”.

Russia has warned against “hasty conclusions” and “any attempts to lay the blame on those who are unwanted by a number of well-known states.”

Iran’s foreign minister said the timing of the suspected attacks is “suspicious” as they coincided with the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Iran to cool mounting tensions with the US.

His comments came shortly after the Japanese Trade Ministry said the two vessels had “Japan-related cargo”.

The EU’s diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini called for “maximum restraint and avoiding any escalation on a military side”.

The United Kingdom expressed concerns about the incident and is now “in contact with local authorities and partners in the region”, according to a government spokesperson.

Meanwhile, the Norwegian Maritime Authority called on its ships to maintain a safe distance from Iranian waters, while the country’s foreign ministry said that such incidents “contribute to a further escalation of tensions in the region”.

Investors are among the most sensitive observers, as usual; Oil prices jumped by 4 per cent on the news.

An Unsettling Trend

It comes just a month after another mysterious incident in the Gulf of Oman, in which four commercial vessels docked off the UAE coast were targeted by limpet mines placed by trained divers, according to Emirati investigators.

The UAE concluded that it was likely the work of a “state actor” but stopped short of naming Tehran. The United States, on the other hand, was quick to directly blame Iran. The rationale, top US officials said, was to raise global oil prices – a charge Tehran denied.

Source Article from https://newspunch.com/us-saudi-arabia-blame-iran-for-oil-tanker-attacks-in-gulf-of-oman/

Related Posts
Radio Farda – Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on November 9 in Moscow
Member of Iranian Parliament’s National Security Commission Abolfazl Hassan Beigi accused the US,
A senior Iranian lawmaker on Wednesday blamed Israel, the United States and Saudi Arabia for
Press TV – Iran’s state-run operator of oil tankers has rejected media reports suggesting a

Hits: 74

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

*

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: Premium WordPress Themes | Thanks to Themes Gallery, Bromoney and Wordpress Themes