Breaking News

Iran denies tankers attack as tensions soar

Dubai (AFP) – Iran dismissed as “baseless” Friday US accusations that it carried out twin attacks that left two tankers ablaze in the Gulf of Oman, escalating tensions across the region and sending world oil prices soaring.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Washington would defend its forces and allies in the region, and the United States pressed its case as the UN Security Council met to address the incident — the second in a month in the strategic shipping lane.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted Friday that the US administration had “immediately jumped to make allegations against Iran without a shred of factual or circumstantial evidence”.

He accused it of seeking to “sabotage diplomacy” amid a visit to Iran by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and “cover up its economic terrorism against Iran” in enforcing crippling unilateral sanctions.

With tensions spiralling between Iran and the United States, the European Union called for “maximum restraint” and UN chief Antonio Guterres warned the world cannot afford a major confrontation in the Gulf.

Iran labelled the apparent attacks “suspicious,” as its supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rebuffed overtures by Abe to open talks with US President Donald Trump.

Pompeo said there was strong evidence of Iran’s culpability, after the US Navy said it had spotted an unexploded limpet mine stuck to the hull of one of the vessels.

The US Central Command (CENTCOM) released a grainy black-and-white video it said showed an Iranian patrol boat “removing the unexploded limpet mine” from the ship.

“It is the assessment of the United States that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks,” Pompeo announced.

“This is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication,” he said.

– Explosions off Iran –

The two vessels were struck by explosions in the early daylight hours Thursday after passing through the Strait of Hormuz and travelling around 25 nautical miles off Iran’s southern coast headed towards Asia.

The Norwegian-owned Front Altair ethanol tanker was hit by three explosions, according to the Norwegian Maritime Authority, and remained ablaze late Thursday.

Explosions also struck the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous, which was loaded with methanol, but the fire on board was soon extinguished. One crew member suffered minor injuries. The ship was on Friday heading towards the Omani port of Khor Fakkan.

There was no claim of responsibility for the blasts, which struck both tankers at the waterline.

Iran said its navy rescued several dozen crew members of the two vessels, while the US Navy said it had picked up 21 from the Kokuka Courageous.

Washington has dispatched the destroyer USS Mason to the scene “to provide assistance,” CENTCOM said in a statement.

– ‘Iran or proxies’ –

Pompeo called Thursday’s tanker explosions “the latest in a series of attacks” he alleged were undertaken by Iran or its “proxies,” including a Yemeni missile rebel missile which wounded 26 civilians at a Saudi airport on Wednesday.

A Saudi-led coalition which has been fighting the rebels it accuses of being Iranian proxies said Saudi air defences had intercepted a new rebel attack on a Saudi airport on Friday.

The abortive attack using five rebel drones targeted the southwestern city of Khamis Mushait, home to a huge airbase which has been the main launchpad of the coalition’s more than four-year bombing campaign in Yemen.

“Taken as a whole, these unprovoked attacks present a clear threat to international peace and security,” Pompeo said.

The United States has also accused Iran over May 12 attacks on four tankers anchored in the Gulf of Oman off the United Arab Emirates port of Fujairah.

A five-nation investigation into those attacks said its preliminary findings indicated a state actor was responsible but stopped short of naming Iran.

The US called Thursday for the UN Security Council to confront the “clear threat” posed by Iran, as the council met behind closed doors to hear a briefing on Washington’s assessment that Tehran was responsible.

Iran’s mission to the UN pushed back, saying: “The US and its regional allies must stop warmongering.”

Oil prices jumped at the threat of open conflict around the Strait of Hormuz, the chokepoint between the Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, through which transit some 15 million barrels per day of crude passes.

In London, benchmark Brent crude jumped 2.2 percent to $61.31 a barrel, while in New York, the US standard, West Texas Intermediate, rose 2.2 percent, to $52.28.

“We are in a dangerous moment in the region with this emerging pattern of attacks,” said Elizabeth Dickinson, senior analyst with International Crisis Group.

“Any miscalculation or misunderstanding risks a spiral toward more direct confrontation.”


Source link

health news headlines provided courtesy of Medical News Today.

Advertisement

Advertisement Small

Follow Me

Collaboratively harness market-driven processes whereas resource-leveling internal or "organic" sources. Competently formulate.

View More Job Search Results

Calendar

July 2019
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Pages

Recent Comments

    RSS Meks Blog

    • How to easily create WordPress dropdown menu (without coding) July 17, 2019
      Interested to create WordPress dropdown menu all by yourself and don’t know how? Just follow our guide and learn in no time! The post How to easily create WordPress dropdown menu (without coding) appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • 12 must join Facebook groups for photographers July 11, 2019
      Whether it’s for constructive feedback or new learnings, these Facebook groups for photographers are a great networking place to be in! The post 12 must join Facebook groups for photographers appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • Easy guide on how to make your WordPress site private July 4, 2019
      Wondering how to make your WordPress site private knowing there is no built-in option to it? Read our guide and learn all about it! The post Easy guide on how to make your WordPress site private appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • 10+ email list building ideas and tools (to easily grow your customer base) June 27, 2019
      What are some of the most efficient email list building ideas and tools to grow your audience in 2019 and beyond? Here’s our recommendation! The post 10+ email list building ideas and tools (to easily grow your customer base) appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • The future of WordPress and Gutenberg Editor – Matt’s talk at WordCamp Europe 2019 June 22, 2019
      What seems to be the future of WordPress and Gutenberg Editor? These are the topics Matt covered in his summer state of WordPress at WCEU in Berlin and all the great things coming ahead. The post The future of WordPress and Gutenberg Editor – Matt’s talk at WordCamp Europe 2019 appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • How to easily add Google Fonts to your WordPress website June 19, 2019
      Do you want to add Google fonts to your WordPress website? Here’s how you can freshen up your web place and make it faster, trendy and more appealing. The post How to easily add Google Fonts to your WordPress website appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • Using Google Trends for market research to leverage your content creation ideas June 12, 2019
      Did you know you can use Google Trends for market research and target your customer needs, tailor content strategy, in a much better way? The post Using Google Trends for market research to leverage your content creation ideas appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • How WordPress can help you to build and increase brand awareness June 6, 2019
      How can you build and improve brand awareness with WordPress and what steps are needed in that strategy? The post How WordPress can help you to build and increase brand awareness appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • Starting a photography blog: The secrets successful photo bloggers won’t tell you May 30, 2019
      Is starting a photography blog the next step for your personal branding and getting out there with your work? Sure is! And here’s how you can do it! The post Starting a photography blog: The secrets successful photo bloggers won’t tell you appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • 5+ best forum plugins for WordPress to build a loyal community in 2019 May 22, 2019
      Looking for the best forum plugin for WordPress to build a community and keep them engaged? Let us save you the time and choose among these 6 we recommend. The post 5+ best forum plugins for WordPress to build a loyal community in 2019 appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic

    Text

    Distinctively utilize long-term high-impact total linkage whereas high-payoff experiences. Appropriately communicate 24/365.

    Archives