Two tankers attacked in Gulf of Oman

Two tankers attacked in Gulf of Oman”

The U.S. Navy, which rushed in to assist the stricken vessels, and the ship's owners offered no immediate explanation on what weapon caused the damage to the MT Front Altair and the Kokuka Courageous in the Gulf of Oman off the coast of Iran, though all believed the ships had been targeted in an attack. "Who else would you think is doing it?" Emirati officials described the attacks as state-sponsored, but did not specify a state.

Trump has repudiated the 2015 deal limiting Iran's nuclear program, and he recently moved to cut off Iran's remaining oil exports and sent additional military forces to the region.

A European source who had met Iranian representatives just before the initial escalation in May and did not want to be identified, came to the conclusion that "provocation from Tehran and its proxies was conceivable" given regional support for United States sanctions.

The incidents come after four oil tankers were attacked off the coast of the United Arab Emirates in May, which the U.S. suspected was the responsibility of Iran. "There's a significant amount of trade that transits the Strait of Hormuz every day".

All major Gulf stock markets dropped following the news, and oil prices rose by as much as 4%. "If the waters are becoming unsafe, the supply to the entire Western world could be at risk", said Paolo d'Amico, chairman of INTERTANKO tanker association.

Iran is under substantial economic pressure from United States sanctions that have cut oil exports and contributed to a huge drop in the currency, although Tehran has long-standing ties with the world's two other major powers, China and Russian Federation.

Abe met Wednesday with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran, and Thursday with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader. "I don't regard (President Donald) Trump as deserving any exchange of messages", Khamenei reportedly told Abe. Other unverified reports suggested a mine attack.

He added: "Suspicious doesn't begin to describe what likely transpired this morning".

"A wise and free nation will not accept talks under pressure", he was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency. Those who struck the deal at the time described it as a building block toward further negotiations with Iran, whose Islamic government has had a tense relationship with America since the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and subsequent hostage crisis.

The Security Council discussed the attacks behind closed doors on Thursday at the request of the United States.

The fact that both vessels remained afloat suggested mines may have damaged them, said Jakob P. Larsen, head of maritime security for BIMCO, the largest global association representing ship owners.

Oil tankers last became a target in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea during the so-called "Tanker War" in the 1980s - a sideshow of the Iran-Iraq conflict.

Neoconservative Senator Marco Rubio, who has spent the past five months heavily lobbying for U.S. military intervention in Venezuela, quickly turned his attention to Iran.

Two officials, speaking to a small group of reporters on condition of anonymity, said the United States wants to ensure the freedom of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz and make sure worldwide commerce is not disrupted. Its crew of 23 - from Russian Federation, the Philippiines and Georgia - was safely evacuated to the nearby Hyundai Dubai vessel, it said. The crew, all Filipinos, "kept trying to avoid the attacks, but again received an attack three hours later".

The tanker's owner, Bernhard Shulte, said in a statement that it had sustained damage to the hull on the starboard side and that one crew member had been slightly injured. "The cargo of methanol is intact".

Two oil tankers were hit in a suspected attack in the Gulf of Oman and all crew members on board were evacuated, on June 13, 2019. It did not elaborate but said it was investigating.

Two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz were damaged in suspected attacks on Thursday, leaving one ablaze and the other adrift and forcing sailors to evacuate in the latest mysterious incident involving tankers amid heightened tensions between the U.S and Iran.

The fleet said the Bainbridge, a guided missile destroyer, was "rendering assistance".

An arm of the British Navy, United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, reported that "U.K. and its partners are now investigating" an incident in the Gulf, about 50 miles east of the UAE port of Fujairah, but offered no details.

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