Crisis in the Arabian Gulf

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
4,373
Reactions
2,359 241 1
Iran’s Rouhani Urges Europe to Resist US, Fulfil JCPOA Commitments
  • June, 11, 2019
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called on Europe to resist the United States’ economic terrorism against the Iranian nation and live up to its obligations as per the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
View attachment 7807

“We expect Europe to stand up to and resist America’s economic terrorism against the Iranian nation and fulfill its obligations in accordance with the JCPOA,” Rouhani said in a meeting with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in Tehran on Monday.

He added that following the US withdrawal from the deal, Iran could have done the same on the strength of Article 36 of the JCPOA, but rather decided to remain patient and give other signatories a chance.

Maas had earlier in the day met with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif.

He arrived in Tehran on Sunday night. His visit is part of a concerted European effort to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers following the US withdrawal from the accord.

The US has ratcheted up pressure on Iran since last year after withdrawing from JCPOA.

Since then, the administration of US President Donald Trump is trying to reduce Iran’s oil exports to “zero,” and has sent an aircraft carrier strike group, a bomber squad, an amphibious assault ship, and a Patriot missile battery to the Middle East to try to stack up pressure on Tehran.

Iranian officials, however, have dismissed such moves as psychological warfare, saying the country has its own ways of circumventing the American bans and selling crude oil.

On the first anniversary of the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, Iran announced that it would suspend the implementation of some of its commitments under the deal, announcing that it would stop exporting excess uranium and heavy water, setting a 60-day deadline for the five remaining parties to the deal to take practical measures towards ensuring its interests in the face of the American sanctions.

 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
4,373
Reactions
2,359 241 1
Iran’s Zarif Hails German Recognition of Need for Practical Measures to Save JCPOA
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s Foreign Minister described talks with his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, in Tehran on Monday as “frank” and hailed “Germany’s recognition” that in order to save the 2015 nuclear deal, there need to be practical measures to make sure that Iran benefits from the accord.
  • June, 11, 2019
View attachment 7810

“Frank talks with @HeikoMaas. Welcome German recognition that practical measures to ensure Iran’s economic dividends are essential to preserve #JCPOA,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said on his Twitter account later on Monday.

“We concurred that dialog among regional countries is crucial. But @realDonaldTrump's "economic war" is THE cause of all tensions,” he added.
Germany’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that addressing ways to save the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), following the unilateral withdrawal of the US from it in May last year, was the main goal of Maas’ visit to Iran.

In a meeting with Maas on Monday evening, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called on Europe to resist the United States’ economic terrorism against the Iranian nation
and live up to its obligations as per the nuclear deal.

“We expect Europe to stand up to and resist America’s economic terrorism against the Iranian nation and fulfill its obligations in accordance with the JCPOA” Rouhani told Germany’s top diplomat, adding that following the US withdrawal from the deal, Iran could have done the same on the strength of Article 36 of the JCPOA, but rather decided to remain patient and give other signatories a chance.

Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.

US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the JCPOA in May 2018 and re-imposed harsh sanctions against the Islamic Republic in defiance of global criticism.
On the first anniversary of the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, Iran announced that it would suspend the implementation of some of its commitments under the deal, adding that it would stop exporting excess uranium and heavy water, setting a 60-day deadline for the five remaining parties to the deal to take practical measures towards ensuring its interests in the face of the American sanctions.

https://tn.ai/2029392
 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
4,373
Reactions
2,359 241 1
Two tankers hit by attacks in Gulf of Oman
Updated 14 sec ago
Agencies
June 13, 2019
View attachment 7959
Helicopters flying from the US aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt during a vertical replenishment with the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson on April 13, 2015 in the Gulf of Oman. (File/AFP)


  • The incident comes as Iranian media claimed that there had been an explosion in the area targeting oil tankers
DUBAI: Two tankers were hit in suspected attacks in the Gulf of Oman and the crew have been evacuated, shipping sources said on Thursday, a month after a similar incident in which four tankers in the region were struck.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, part of the Royal Navy, earlier said it was aware of an incident in the Gulf of Oman.
“UK and its partners are currently investigating,” the group said without elaborating.

Oil prices surged by 4 percent after the report that raises tensions in the Gulf, which have been heightened by a dispute between Iran and the United States.

The area is near the Strait of Hormuz, a major strategic waterway through which a fifth of global oil consumption passes from Middle East producers.

Two tankers, the Marshal Islands-flagged Front Altair and the Panama-flagged Kokuka Courageous, had been evacuated and the crews were safe, four shipping and trade sources said.

One crew member of Kokuka Courageous was slightly injured in the incident and got aid from nearby ship, a manager said. The tanker’s master and crew were rescued from a lifeboat by a nearby vessel.

The US Navy’s 5th Fleet said it was assisting two oil tankers targeted in the “reported attack on tankers in the Gulf of Oman.”

The Bahrain-based force did not elaborate on who attacked what it described as two oil tankers. It also did not blame anyone for the attack.

The 5th Fleet said it had sent naval forces to the area to assist the two vessels.
“We are aware of the reported attack on tankers in the Gulf of Oman. U.S. Naval Forces in the region received two separate distress calls at 6:12 A.M. local time and a second one at 7:00 A.M.,” Joshua Frey of the Fifth Fleet told Reuters.

The shipping newspaper Tradewinds reported that a tanker owned by Norway’s Frontline had been struck by a torpedo off the coast of Fujairah, one of the emirates in the United Arab Emirates. It cited unnamed industry sources.

Frontline was not immediately available for comment.

One shipping broker said there had been an explosion “suspected from an outside attack” that may have involved a magnetic mine on the Kokuka.
“All crew safely abandoned the vessel and was picked up by Vessel Coastal Ace. Kokuka Courageous is adrift without any crew on board,” the source said.

Another source said the Front Altair reported a fire caused by a “surface attack” and that the crew had been picked up by nearby vessel Hyundai Dubai.

 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
4,373
Reactions
2,359 241 1
Two Tankers Struck in Gulf of Oman Attacks
Thursday, 13 June, 2019

View attachment 7960
UAE Navy (coast guard) boats are seen next to a tanker that was sabotaged off Fujairah, UAE, May 13, 2019. Reuters

Asharq Al-Awsat

The US Fifth Fleet said on Thursday that its vessels have received distress calls from two tankers reportedly under attack in the Gulf of Oman.

"We are aware of the reported attack on tankers in the Gulf of Oman," said a statement from the Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain.

"US naval forces in the region received two separate distress calls at 6:12 am. local time and a second one at 7:00 am," the statement said.

"US Navy ships are in the area and are rendering assistance."

Two tankers, the Marshal Islands-flagged Front Altair and the Panama-flagged Kokuka Courageous, had been evacuated and the crews were safe, four shipping and trade sources said.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, part of the Royal Navy, earlier said it was aware of an incident in the Gulf of Oman.

"UK and its partners are currently investigating," the group said without elaborating.

Oil prices surged by 4 percent after the report that raises tensions in the Gulf, which have been heightened by a dispute between Iran and the United States.

The UAE had said that May 12 attacks on four vessels off the coast of Fujairah were likely caused by limpet mines and bore the hallmarks of an operation most likely by a state actor.

Saudi Arabia's envoy to the United Nations blamed Iran.

 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
4,373
Reactions
2,359 241 1
Iran has no intention of making nuclear weapon, Abe says
Comments come after Japanese Prime Minister meets with Khamanei
Published: June 13, 2019
Reuters
View attachment 7973
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meets with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tehran, Iran June 13, 2019.


Tokyo: Iran has no intention of making or using nuclear weapons, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted as saying on Thursday by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

“Supreme Leader Khamenei made a comment that the country will not and should not make, hold or use nuclear weapons, and that it has no such intentions,” Abe told reporters in Tehran following his meeting with Khamenei.

Abe’s comment was broadcast on Japanese public broadcaster NHK.

 

yavar

MEMBER
Joined
Jan 16, 2019
Messages
63
Reactions
39
Country
Iran
Location
Iran
Two Tankers Struck in Gulf of Oman Attacks
Thursday, 13 June, 2019

View attachment 7960
UAE Navy (coast guard) boats are seen next to a tanker that was sabotaged off Fujairah, UAE, May 13, 2019. Reuters

Asharq Al-Awsat

The US Fifth Fleet said on Thursday that its vessels have received distress calls from two tankers reportedly under attack in the Gulf of Oman.

"We are aware of the reported attack on tankers in the Gulf of Oman," said a statement from the Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain.

"US naval forces in the region received two separate distress calls at 6:12 am. local time and a second one at 7:00 am," the statement said.

"US Navy ships are in the area and are rendering assistance."

Two tankers, the Marshal Islands-flagged Front Altair and the Panama-flagged Kokuka Courageous, had been evacuated and the crews were safe, four shipping and trade sources said.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, part of the Royal Navy, earlier said it was aware of an incident in the Gulf of Oman.

"UK and its partners are currently investigating," the group said without elaborating.

Oil prices surged by 4 percent after the report that raises tensions in the Gulf, which have been heightened by a dispute between Iran and the United States.

The UAE had said that May 12 attacks on four vessels off the coast of Fujairah were likely caused by limpet mines and bore the hallmarks of an operation most likely by a state actor.

Saudi Arabia's envoy to the United Nations blamed Iran.



Oil tankers attacked off Oman

The first released images from the attacked oil tankers in the Oman Sea
 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
4,373
Reactions
2,359 241 1
Pompeo blames Iran for attack on 2 oil tankers in Gulf of Oman
By Darryl Coote & Nicholas Sakelaris & Danielle HaynesJune 13, 2019

View attachment 7994
A Norwegian oil tanker is seen on fire Thursday in the Gulf of Oman. Photo by IRIB News/EPA-EFE

June 13 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for an attack on oil tankers off the coast of Oman on Thursday.

Speaking from Washington, D.C., Pompeo said the United States pinned the blame on Iran based on the types of weapons used in the "blatant assault" on the two vessels. He said the attacks are a threat to international peace and represent "an unacceptable escalation of tension by Iran."



Embedded video




Department of State

✔ @StateDept



https://twitter.com/StateDept/status/1139241685152489472



.@SecPompeo: The United States will defend its forces and interests, and stand with our partners and allies to safeguard global commerce and regional stability. We call upon all nations threatened by #Iran’s provocative acts to join us in that endeavor.
The Navy's Fifth Fleet said it received two separate distress calls -- at 6:12 a.m. and 7 a.m. -- regarding the alleged attacks.

"U.S. Navy ships are in the area and are rendering assistance," said the fleet, which is stationed in Bahrain.

Earlier, British maritime safety group United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations sent out an alert of an unspecified "incident" occurring in the Gulf of Oman. The group urged "extreme caution" as tensions escalate between the United States and Iran.

Maritime security risk management firm Dryad Global identified one of the tankers as the Norwegian-flagged MT Front Altair, stating it was "on fire & adrift." The owner denied reports that the tanker had been sunk by a suspected torpedo. It was carrying 75,000 metric tons of petroleum product bound for Taiwan. View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter



Dryad Global @GlobalDryad



https://twitter.com/GlobalDryad/status/1139069888696336384



#Incident Reports of vessel MT Front Altair being on fire & adrift at position 2527N 05722E are being investigated. No cause has been positively confirmed. Latest information will be communicated when available. Contact our team via http://www.dryadglobal.com #Fujairah #UAE #attack



11
The other tanker was identified as Kokuka Courageous, of Bernhard Schulte GmbH & Co KG, Bloomberg reported. It was carrying methanol from Saudi Arabia to Singapore.

"The hull has been breached above the water line on the starboard side," the company's website said. "All crew are reported safe and only minor injury reported."

In all, 43 crew members were rescued from both tankers.

One of the tankers is operated by the Japanese. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was visiting Tehran hoping to find a diplomatic solution.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called the incident "suspicious" and pushed for a regional dialogue.

The attack occurred near the Strait of Hormuz, a passage point for 20 percent of global oil consumption. The incident comes a month after four oil tankers, two of which were Saudi, were sabotaged in the gulf.

In late May, national security adviser John Bolton blamed Iran for the attack. Tensions in the Middle East have been high following the Trump administration canceling waivers on April 25 that allowed countries to buy Iranian oil without violating sanctions. In apparent retaliation, Iran partially withdrew from a landmark six-nation nuclear accord.

Oil futures climbed 4 percent following news of the incident, from a near five-month low, Bloomberg reported.


 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
4,373
Reactions
2,359 241 1
U.S. releases video it says shows Iran removing mine from damaged oil tanker
14 June 2019
By Darryl Coote & Nicholas Sakelaris & Danielle Haynes

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rejects the accusation, saying "suspicious doesn't begin to describe what likely transpired this morning."

View attachment 8018
A Norwegian oil tanker is seen on fire Thursday in the Gulf of Oman. Photo by IRIB News/EPA-EFE

View attachment 8019

The United States released a video Thursday it says shows an Iranian Navy boat removing an unexploded mine from the hull of one of two oil tankers attacked in the Gulf of Oman.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the attack earlier Thursday based on the types of weapons used, calling it a "blatant assault" on the two vessels. He said the attacks are a threat to international peace and represent an unacceptable escalation of tension by Iran.

"Iran is lashing out because the regime wants our successful maximum pressure campaign lifted," he said, referencing U.S. sanctions on Iran.

.@SecPompeo: The United States will defend its forces and interests, and stand with our partners and allies to safeguard global commerce and regional stability. We call upon all nations threatened by #Iran’s provocative acts to join us in that endeavor.


In the video posted by U.S. Central Command, a boat with several men aboard can be seen sidling up parallel to the MT Kokuka Courageous. A man, standing on the boat's bow, then can be seen removing an object from the Kokuka Courageous's hull that USCENTCOM says is an "unexploded limpet mine."

USCENTCOM said the removal of the mine occurred hours after the USS Bainbridge had arrived at the location of the attack.

Capt. Bill Urban, lead spokesman for USCENTCOM, said the United States does not want to engage in another conflict in the Middle East but it is ready to protect itself and its interests.

"Today's attacks are a clear threat to international freedom of navigation and freedom of commerce," he said in a statement. "The U.S. and the international community stand ready to defend our interests, including the freedom of navigation."

The two tankers -- the Japanese-operated Kokuka Courageous and the Norwegian-flagged MT Altair -- were attacked early Thursday morning in international waters in the Gulf of Oman and were approximately 10 nautical miles apart when the U.S. Navy received separate distress signals -- one at 6:12 a.m. and the other at 7 a.m. -- regarding the alleged attacks.

The Navy's Fifth Fleet, which is stationed in Bahrain, was the first to respond, stating in a statement shortly after the attack occurred that "U.S. Navy ships are in the area and are rendering assistance."

In all, 43 crew members were rescued from both tankers.

The International Association of Independent Tanker Owners, which the owners of two damaged vessels are members of, said that attack appears to be "well-planned and coordinated."

It said the vessels suffered explosions "at or below the waterline, in close proximity to the engine room."

INTERTANKO Chairman Paolo d'Amico said he is now "extremely worried" about crews traveling through the Strait of Hormuz, where some 20 to 30 percent of the world's crude oil passes through.

"If the waters are becoming unsafe, the supply to the entire Western world could be at risk," he said.

Jonathan Cohen, acting U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told the U.N. Security Council that Iran was responsible for the attacks.

"No proxy group in the area has the resources or skill to act with this level of sophistication," he said. "Iran, however, has the weapons, the expertise and the requisite intelligence information to pull this off."

He said he expected the Security Council to watch the situation and expects there to be further conversations ahead while calling on Iran to return to the negotiating table.

Alireza Miryousefi, head spokesman of Iran's mission to the U.N., denied the allegations and called Cohen's comments part of an "Iranophobic campaign."

"Iran categorically rejects the U.S. unfounded claim with regard to the 13 June oil tanker incidents and condemns it in the strongest possible terms," he said in a statement published on Twitter.

He also accused the United States of committing so-called false flag operations and plots in the region while stating Iran "expresses concern over the suspicious incidents" of the attacks on the oil tankers.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter that "suspicious doesn't begin to describe what likely transpired this morning."

He said before the video was posted by USCENTCOM that the United States had jumped to conclusion in blaming Iran without proof, stating it was attempting to "sabotage diplomacy" while committing "economic terrorism" against Iran.

Zarif tweeted that the attacks occurred while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in a meeting with Ayatollah Khamenei. One of the tankers is operated by the Japanese.

The incident comes a month after four oil tankers, two of which were Saudi, were sabotaged in the gulf.

In late May, national security adviser John Bolton blamed Iran for the attack. Tensions in the Middle East have been high following the Trump administration canceling waivers on April 25 that allowed countries to buy Iranian oil without violating sanctions. In apparent retaliation, Iran partially withdrew from a landmark six-nation nuclear accord.

Oil futures climbed 4 percent following news of the incident, from a near five-month low, Bloomberg reported.

 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
4,373
Reactions
2,359 241 1
UAE Slams Oil Tanker Attack as Gargash Says Zarif Losing Credibility
14 June, 2019



UAE State Minister for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash. (Reuters)

Asharq Al-Awsat

The United Arab Emirates slammed on Thursday the attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and on Saudi Arabia's Abha International Airport as a “major and dangerous escalation”.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said that the developments require the international community to scramble to protect regional stability and security.

“Wisdom and collective responsibility are needed to prevent more escalation,” he said in Twitter post.

On Friday, he took aim at Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, saying his credibility is “diminishing”.

“Every single day Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif’s reference to team B becomes more farcical and his credibility diminishing,” he said. “Public relations is no real substitute to constructive policies. De-escalation in current situation requires wise actions not empty words.”

Zarif often uses “Team B” to refer to US National Security Adviser John Bolton and those in the administration and the Gulf region who share his hawkish stance towards Iran.

Gargash’s tweet seemed to be a reaction to one by Zarif, hours earlier, saying: “Some misinterpretations necessitate a clarification: B_Team is sabotaging diplomacy (..) and covering up Economic Terrorism by the US against Iran.”

Twenty-six civilians were wounded on Wednesday in an attack by the Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen on the arrivals hall at the Abha International Airport.

Two oil tankers came under attack in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday. The United States blamed Iran for the attacks, which drove up oil prices and stoked fears of a new US-Iranian confrontation.

 

Attachments

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
4,373
Reactions
2,359 241 1
China, EU Call for Restraint after Oil Tanker Attacks in Gulf
14 June, 2019

View attachment 8032
A handout photo made available by the Norwegian shipowner Frontline of the crude oil tanker Front Altair during the firefighting of the fire onboard the ship in the Gulf of Oman, June 13, 2019. (Reuters)

Asharq Al-Awsat

China and the European Union called on Friday for restraint after the attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that countries should "avoid further escalation of tensions."

"We hope that all the relevant sides can properly resolve their differences and resolve the conflict through dialogue and consultations," he told a regular press briefing.

"This conforms with the interests of regional countries, and also conforms with the interests of the international community," he added.

“War in the Gulf region of the Middle East is something that no one wants to see,” he stressed, adding that Beijing will “continue to protect its energy security" and oppose unilateral sanctions.

The EU urged maximum restraint with a spokeswoman saying: "We have said repeatedly that the region doesn't need further escalation, it doesn't need destabilization, it doesn't need further tension.”

"We are gathering more information and we are assessing the situation," she told reporters.

The two tankers, one Norwegian- and one Japanese-owned, were set blaze in the Gulf of Oman off the coast of Iran on Thursday, escalating tensions across the region and sending world oil prices soaring. The United States accused Iran of being behind the attack.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there was strong evidence of Iran's culpability and warned Washington would defend its forces and allies in the region.

Oman on Friday said the Gulf country's marine security center had dispatched two navy vessels and a reconnaissance plane to help in efforts to rescue the two tankers targeted in the Gulf of Oman.

Japan's Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said Friday he has no intention of sending Japanese troops to respond to the attacks on the Japanese-operated tanker.

The situation is not considered an imminent threat to Japan, he told a news conference.

The incident took place just as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was wrapping up his high-stakes visit in Tehran to help de-escalate regional tension.

The Japanese ship operator said sailors on board the Kokuka Courageous, one of the vessels attacked near the Strait of Hormuz, saw "flying objects" just before the attack.

The Japanese tanker carrying petroleum products to Singapore and Thailand was attacked twice while traveling near the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, damaging the tanker and forcing all 21 crewmembers to evacuate.

Company president Yutaka Katada said Friday he believes the flying objects seen by the sailors could be bullets, and denied possibility of mines or torpedoes because the damages were above the ship's waterline.

Katada said the crew members also spotted an Iranian naval ship nearby, but did not specify whether that was before or after the attacks. The tanker survived the first attack that hit near the engine room, followed by another causing damage to the star-board side toward the back.

 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
4,373
Reactions
2,359 241 1
Iran behind tanker attacks, Strait of Hormuz not at risk, says Trump
Updated 15 June 2019

AFP
AP
Reuters


View attachment 8067
An oil tanker is seen after it was attacked at the Gulf of Oman, in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran, June 13, 2019. (Reuters)


View attachment 8068
This grab taken from a video released by the US Central Command (USCENTCOM) on June 14, 2019, reportedly shows an Iranian navy patrol boat in the Gulf of Oman approaching the Japanese operated methanol tanker Kokuka Courageous and removing an unexploded mine. (AFP)


View attachment 8069
This grab taken from a video released by the US Central Command (USCENTCOM) on June 14, 2019, reportedly shows an Iranian navy patrol boat in the Gulf of Oman approaching the Japanese operated methanol tanker Kokuka Courageous and removing an unexploded mine. (AFP)

View attachment 8070
This grab taken from a video released by the US Central Command (USCENTCOM) on June 14, 2019, reportedly shows an Iranian navy patrol boat in the Gulf of Oman approaching the Japanese operated methanol tanker Kokuka Courageous and removing an unexploded mine. (AFP)


View attachment 8071
In this Powerpoint slide provided by US Central Command damage from an explosion, left, and a likely limpet mine can be seen on the hull of the civilian vessel M/V Kokuka Courageous in the Gulf of Oman, June 13, 2019, as the guided-missile destroyer USS Bainbridge (DDG 96), not pictured, approaches the damaged ship. (AFP /US NAVY)

View attachment 8072
In this Powerpoint slide provided by US Central Command damage from an explosion, left, and a likely limpet mine can be seen on the hull of the civilian vessel M/V Kokuka Courageous in the Gulf of Oman, June 13, 2019, as the guided-missile destroyer USS Bainbridge (DDG 96), not pictured, approaches the damaged ship. (AFP /US NAVY)

  • CENTCOM releases video showing Revolutionary Guard removing mine from stricken ship

WASHINGTON, DUBAI: Calling Iran “a nation of terror,” US President Donald Trump on Friday publicly accused the country of responsibility for recent attacks on oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz. Trump said Iran’s culpability was “exposed” by the US.

Britain also blamed Iran, saying no other state or non-state actor could have been responsible.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt called on Iran to stop all forms of destabilizing activity.
“These latest attacks build on a pattern of destabilizing Iranian behavior and pose a serious danger to the region,” he said.

US Central Command released footage it said shows Iran’s Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded limpet mine from the Japanese-owned tanker Kokuka Courageous.

“Iran did do it,” Trump told the “Fox and Friends” show. “You know they did it because you saw the boat. I guess one of the mines didn’t explode and it’s probably got essentially Iran written all over it.”

Trump dismissed previous threats by Tehran that in case of conflict it could block the Hormuz Strait — a narrow seaway vital to the world’s oil supplies.

HIGHLIGHTS
• Britain says no other state or non-state actor could have been responsible.
• The UAE calls tanker attacks a ‘dangerous escalation.’
• UN chief Antonio Guterres calls for an independent probe.

“They’re not going to be closing it,” he said. Trump said the US has been “very tough on sanctions. They’ve been told in very strong terms we want to get them back to the table.”

The black-and-white video of the Iranians alongside the Kokuka Courageous came after its crew abandoned ship after seeing the undetonated explosive on its hull, said Capt. Bill Urban, a spokesman for CENTCOM.

U.S. Central Command Statement on June 13 Limpet Mine Attack in the Gulf of Oman. U.S. Central Command Statement on June 13 Limpet Mine Attack in the Gu pic.twitter.com/d71d7d0HOK
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) June 14, 2019


In the video, the boat from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard pulls alongside Kokuka Courageous at 4:10 p.m. on Thursday. The Iranians reach up and grab along where the limpet mine could be seen in the photo. They then sail away.

A US official said Iranian military fast-boats in the Gulf of Oman were preventing two privately owned tugboats from towing away the Norwegian-owned Front Altairan oil tanker.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an independent investigation to establish the facts.

Guterres said he was available to mediate if the parties agreed, however he added that “at the present moment we don’t see a mechanism of dialogue possible to be in place.” Guterres said the world could not afford a major confrontation in the Gulf.

The UAE said that the attacks just weeks after four ships were damaged off the UAE marked a “dangerous escalation.”

“The attack against the tankers in the Gulf of Oman is a worrying development and a dangerous escalation,” Anwar Gargash, UAE minister of state for foreign affairs, tweeted.

In another tweet, Gargash said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s “credibility (is) diminishing. Public relations is no real substitute to constructive policies. De-escalation in (the) current situation requires wise actions not empty words.”

Oil prices have surged in response to the geopolitical tension.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said the Kingdom was monitoring the situation with “great concern.” He “called upon the international community to assume its joint responsibility and take firm action to secure maritime traffic in the region’s waterways.”

 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
4,373
Reactions
2,359 241 1
Iran president renews ultimatum over compliance with nuclear pact
Reuters
June 15, 2019

View attachment 8081
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a session of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Friday, June 14, 2019. (AP)

DUSHANBE: Iran will continue scaling back its compliance with its nuclear deal commitments in the absence of “positive signals” from other signatories to the pact, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told a meeting of Russia, China and other Asia leaders in Tajikistan.

Iran stopped complying in May with some commitments in a 2015 nuclear deal that was agreed with global powers, a year after the United States unilaterally withdrew from the accord and tightened sanctions.

Tehran has said in May that, unless world powers protected its economy from US sanctions within 60 days, Iran would start enriching uranium at higher level.

 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
4,373
Reactions
2,359 241 1
Saudi crown prince says kingdom isn’t seeking war in region
By AYA BATRAWY
16 June 2019
View attachment 8121
Map shows aerial satellite image of area in the Gulf of Oman, where an oil tanker was attacked; 3c x 3 inches; 146 mm x 76 mm;


View attachment 8122
This June 13, 2019 false-color image from the European Commission's Sentinel-2 satellite that was processed by Sinergise's Sentinel Hub website shows the Norwegian-owned MT Front Altair ablaze with smoke rising from it in the Gulf of Oman after what the U.S. described as a limpet mine attack by Iran. Iran has denied being involved in the incident. The white light in the image is the sun being reflected off the waters of the Gulf of Oman. (European Commission via AP)


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in remarks published Sunday that the kingdom is not seeking war in the region, but warned it will not hesitate to confront threats to its security.

His comments came just days after the U.S. blamed Iran for suspected attacks on two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, denouncing what it called a campaign of “escalating tensions” in a region crucial to global energy supplies. The U.S. alleges Iran used limpet mines to target the tankers, pointing to black-and-white footage it captured that American officials describe as Iranian Revolutionary Guard troops removing an unexploded mine from the Japanese-operated tanker, Kokuka Courageous.

The U.S. accusations come as the Trump Administration has re-imposed punishing economic sanctions on Tehran once lifted by the 2015 nuclear deal, targeting Iranian oil exports among other key sectors. In recent weeks, the U.S. has sent an aircraft carrier strike group and other military assets to the region in what it says is aimed at Iranian deterrence.

In interview with the Arabic-language newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, Prince Mohammed also accused Iran of being behind the latest tanker attacks. He said Iran disrespected the visit to Tehran by the Japanese prime minister last week and responded to his diplomatic efforts to reduce regional tensions by attacking two tankers, one of which was Japanese.

Iran has rejected the U.S. claim that it was responsible for Thursday’s attacks, saying it stands ready to play an active and constructive role in ensuring the security of strategic maritime passages.

Iran has also been accused of being behind the May 12 attacks on four oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. Two of those vessels belonged to Saudi Arabia.

In his first public comments since the start of these incidents, the powerful Saudi prince, who is also defense minister and oversees all major levers of power in the country, said the attacks “confirm the importance of our demands of the international community to take a decisive stance” against Iran’s behavior.
“The kingdom does not seek war in the region, but we will not hesitate to deal with any threat to our people, sovereignty and vital interests,” he said.

Last month, an English-language Saudi newspaper close to the palace had called for the U.S. to launch “surgical” strikes against Iran in retaliation for the earlier vessel and pipeline attacks.

The prince reiterated longstanding Saudi accusations against rival Iran of using militias to destabilize the region. He also touted U.S.-Saudi relations as “essential to achieving regional security and stability.”

“The problem is in Tehran and not anywhere else,” Prince Mohammed said. “Iran is always the party that’s escalating in the region, carrying out terrorist attacks and criminal attacks either directly or through its militias.”

Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of arming Yemeni rebels known as Houthis, who claimed responsibility for a missile strike on a Saudi airport in the city of Abha that the kingdom said wounded 26 passengers last week. The Houthis also carried out a drone strike last month on a key Saudi oil pipeline. Saudi Arabia has been at war against the Houthis in Yemen since early 2015.

“The choice before Iran is clear. Do you want to be a normal state with a constructive role in the international community or do you want to be a rogue state?” the crown prince was quoted as saying.

His comments mirrored those made by his father, King Salman, at emergency summits held in Mecca last month that drew heads of state from Arab and Muslim countries to address the sharp rise in tensions with Iran.

Thursday’s apparent attacks in the Strait of Hormuz forced the evacuation of all 44 sailors aboard the two vessels. On Saturday, Associated Press journalists saw the crew members of the Norwegian-owned oil tanker MT Front Altair arrive at Dubai International Airport, after spending two days in Iran.

The Front Altair, which caught fire after the apparent attack, limped into anchorage Sunday off the eastern coast of the United Arab Emirates, near the port city of Khorfakkan.


 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
4,373
Reactions
2,359 241 1
U.S. does not want war with Iran, continues diplomacy: Pompeo
16 June 2019

View attachment 8132
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo looks on during a joint news conference in The Hague, Netherlands June 3, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - While it is “unmistakable” that Iran was responsible for the attacks on two tankers last week, the United States does not want to go to war with Tehran, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday.

In an interview with “Fox News Sunday”, Pompeo said, “President Trump has done everything he can to avoid war. We don’t want war.” But he added that Washington will guarantee free navigation through vital shipping areas.
“The United States is going make sure that we take all the actions necessary, diplomatic and otherwise that achieve that outcome,” Pompeo said.

U.S.-Iran tensions are high following accusations by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump that Tehran carried out attacks last Thursday on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, a vital oil shipping route. Iran has denied having any role.

“The intelligence community has lots of data, lots of evidence. The world will come to see much of it,” said Pompeo, who headed the Central Intelligence Agency before becoming secretary of state.

Pompeo said he did not want to discuss possible next steps the United State might take in response to last week’s developments.

“Iran will not get a nuke weapon. That’s the goal,” he said when asked about the possibility of Trump sending more American troops and military hardware to the region.
“I made a number of calls to colleagues around the world yesterday. I am confident that we will have partners that understand this threat,” Pompeo said.

Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Lisa Shumaker


 

Similar threads


Top