Monday, 27 May, 2019

Iran Claims Credit for UAE, Saudi Ship Attacks

Pump jacks operate at sunset in an oilfield in Texas Saudi Says Two of Its Oil Tankers ‘Sabotaged,’ Iran Seeks Clarification
Steven Clarke | 15 May, 2019, 07:29

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He added that during the past 40 years after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, the U.S. forces have always been present near Iran's borders.

"You wanted a better deal with Iran".

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

Ambassador John Abizaid told reporters in the Saudi capital Riyadh today: "We need to do a thorough investigation to understand what happened, why it happened, and then come up with reasonable responses short of war".

Two editors of Iranian news outlets say Iran is claiming responsibility for the attacks on four ships anchored off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, according to MEMRI, an global media monitoring organization.

The UAE foreign ministry said in a statement on Sunday that four merchant ships of several nationalities were subjected to subversive operations near the territorial waters towards the port of Fujairah on the eastern coast of the UAE (70 nautical miles from the Strait of Hormuz).

Suspected "sabotage operations" on four commercial ships in the Gulf have heightened turmoil in a region already on edge amid an acrimonious standoff between the United States and Iran over Tehran's nuclear programme.

China to increase tariffs on certain USA products
All three major US indexes were in the black, recovering some ground from their worst one-day percentage losses in months. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 207.06 points at 25,532.05, a day after losing 617.38 points.

Yadlin says that Iran's difficulties with the U.S. have escalated and "Iran's attempt to establish and build advanced military capabilities in Syria with Israel was a stinging failure", leaving them with far fewer options.

Earlier this month, Trump's national security adviser John Bolton announced that the USA would deploy the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the Middle East to show "the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force". "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.

Abu Dhabi did not blame any party for the alleged attacks, which Iran's Foreign Ministry later described as "worrying and regrettable". In an indirect reference to the United States and its Arab allies in the Persian Gulf, Mousavi warned against using the incident as an excuse for "adventurism from foreign elements" that would disrupt stability and security in the region.

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

Gulf News, a state-linked Dubai daily, said "rogue actors must be brought to book". As repeated attacks in Yemen itself have shown, pipelines can be repaired within a few days, and Saudi Aramco has extensive stocks of spare parts.

"Price volatility is set to remain the theme in oil market over the coming sessions as ongoing trade spat between the United States and China ratchets up", said Abhishek Kumar, head of analytics at Interfax Energy in London. The concern is more about the message being sent, and the danger this is just the next escalation in the Arabian Gulf confrontation.

The incident took place against a backdrop of heightened tensions between USA and Iran, with Washington deploying aircraft carriers, bombers, and a Patriot missile battery to the Middle East to deter what it called "credible threats" from Tehran.

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