Published: Wed, May 15, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Saudi Says Two of Its Oil Tankers ‘Sabotaged,’ Iran Seeks Clarification

Saudi Says Two of Its Oil Tankers ‘Sabotaged,’ Iran Seeks Clarification

Mousavi warned of "any malicious attempt by conspirators to undermine stability and security in the region", calling on "the countries of the region to be on alert for any attempt by foreign agents".

According to the same sources, thousands of missiles were deployed throughout Iran, and the message to the United States is that it will not be able to destroy all targets in Iran at once, and they will not be able to prevent Iran from launching missiles.

Iran and the United States have engaged in a war of words in recent weeks since Tehran began to roll back commitments set out in a landmark 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Speaking about the growing tensions between the USA and Iran, MSNBC reporter Andrea Mitchell asked former acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency John McLaughlin whether the current escalation is a modern version of "the Gulf of Tonkin". "Not only does the entire worldwide community have a hangover [from] 2003, [but] the level of awareness of sleepwalking into another conflict that could potentially be much more unsafe and have wider regional implications, particularly those for European security, is making everybody very cautious". "Absolutely. But we have not planned for that", Trump said.

Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, seen in this photo from March, said the attack didn't cause any casualties or oil spills.

At the same time, al-Falih did not specify who could have been behind the attack.

A fire broke out and firefighters later brought it under control, though the state-run Saudi Aramco stopped pumping oil through the pipeline. Two other vessels were allegedly also damaged off Fujairah port in UAE waters.

Abu Dhabi did not blame any party for the alleged attacks, which Iran's Foreign Ministry later described as "worrying and regrettable".

Iran, for its part, condemned the attacks and called for an investigation into the event.

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Falih said the attack was an "act of terrorism" that targeted the world's global oil supply.

The Ministry added that "the circumstances of the incident are being investigated in cooperation with local and worldwide bodies, and the concerned investigation parties will announce the results when the procedures are accomplished".

There were "no injuries or fatalities on board the vessels" or "spillage of harmful chemicals or fuel", the UAE's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Such statements from Tehran, plus this week's two attacks, suggest a three-pronged threat to Gulf energy exports - covering those via the Strait of Hormuz, Red Sea, and east coast of the UAE. The facility handles oil for bunkering and shipping, as well as general and bulk cargo. The Saudi index was up 1.4 percent after two days of heavy losses and Dubai stock index was trading 2.4 percent higher after its biggest one-day loss in years on Monday.

Emirati-flagged oil tanker A. Michel off the coast of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, Monday, May 13, 2019.

The Andrea Victory's managers, Thome Group, said the tanker had a hole in the hull area "after being struck by an unknown object on the waterline".

A general view of the port at Fujairah is shown. "It can not face the United States militarily, unless the Iranian leaders think that the U.S. is another Saddam Hussein", al-Ahmari added, referring to the late Iraqi dictator whom Tehran went to war with.

As tensions between the USA and Iran have increased, Tehran has threatened to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

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