May 21, 2019

Israeli 'cunning' behind Gulf tanker attacks: Iran

15 May 2019, 06:03 | Glen Norman

US team suggests Iran behind ship sabotage

WTI and Brent Crude Oil

The announcement came hours after Yemen's Huthi rebels said they had targeted vital installations in Saudi Arabia, which leads a military coalition against them.

Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said Saudi Aramco had "temporarily shut down" the pipeline to "evaluate its condition" but added that oil production and exports had not been interrupted.

Also sustaining the up move in crude prices, geopolitical tensions remain on the rise in the Persian Gulf after recent drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities and Sunday's sabotage of kingdom's tankers.

RIYADH/DUBAI - The U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia said Washington should take what he called "reasonable responses short of war" after it had determined who was behind attacks on oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

Fox News quoted a source on Monday night who said a USA military team has examined the four commercial vessels damaged by explosions off the coast of the UAE on Sunday and concluded agents of Iran or its proxy forces attacked them.

The U.S. Maritime Administration said last week that Iran could target U.S. commercial ships including oil tankers sailing through Middle East waterways.

A statement from Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said two of the kingdom's oil tankers, including one due to later carry crude to the USA, sustained "significant damage".

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Known for confrontation, it is the most popular programme on ITV's daytime schedule, with an average of one million viewers. Ms Callaghan said Mr Dymond had been "quietly struggling", but praised the show's team for their after-care efforts.

He urged for global efforts to confront all terrorist groups that carry out such acts, including the Houthi militias in Yemen that are allegedly backed by Iran.

The oil tankers were visible in satellite images provided Tuesday to the AP by Colorado-based Maxar Technologies.

Iran's foreign minister on Tuesday the sabotage attack on oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates this week was meant to stir up wider conflict in the region.

Shia-majority Iran rivals Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia for influence in the Middle East, with the two taking opposing sides in multiple regional conflicts including in Yemen.

UAE authorities did not say who was behind the alleged attack.

There were no casualties but Saudi Arabia said two of its ships had suffered "significant damage".

Trump says "bad problem" may await Iran as the US bulks up its military presence in the Persian Gulf; State Department correspondent Rich Edson reports.

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The allegations came on the same day the Saudis blamed armed drones for attacks on two oil pumping stations in the kingdom today, two days after Sunday's explosions, in what it called a "cowardly" act of terrorism.

Heshmatollah Falahat Pisheh, the head of Iran's National Security Foreign Policy Committee, said in an interview with Iranian state media Monday that "Iran and the United States can manage the crisis by themselves". This latest development is ratcheting up tensions in the already troubled region. "Absolutely. But we have not planned for that", Trump said.

Washington reimposed sanctions on Iran in November after pulling out of a 2015 nuclear accord between Tehran and world powers past year.

"God willing we will pass this hard period with glory and our heads held high, and defeat the enemy", he said in a meeting with clerics late on Monday.

The pipeline is used to transport oil from fields near the Persian Gulf to a port on the Red Sea, without passing through the Strait of Hormuz.

"We'll see what happens with Iran", President Donald Trump said while meeting Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban at the White House earlier on Monday.

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