2 oil tankers attacked in Gulf Of Oman

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ASPartOfMe
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13 Jun 2019, 7:17 pm

U.S. blames Iran for tanker attacks in Gulf of Oman, Iran rejects assertion

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The United States blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday that drove up oil prices and raised concerns about a new U.S.-Iranian confrontation.

Iran “categorically rejects the U.S. unfounded claim with regard to 13 June oil tanker incidents and condemns it in the strongest possible terms,” the Iranian mission to the United Nations said in a statement on Thursday evening.

It was not immediately clear what befell the Norwegian-owned Front Altair or the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous, which both experienced explosions, forcing crews to abandon ship and leave the vessels adrift in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran.

One source said the blast on the Front Altair, which caught fire and sent a huge plume of smoke into the air, may have been caused by a magnetic mine.

The firm that chartered the Kokuka Courageous tanker said it was hit by a suspected torpedo, but a person with knowledge of the matter said torpedoes were not used.

An unexploded device, believed to be a limpet mine, was spotted on the side of the Japanese tanker, a U.S. official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. If confirmed, the next steps might be to deactivate or detonate the device.

Crude oil prices spiked more than 4% after the attacks near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial shipping artery for Saudi Arabia and other Gulf energy producers. Prices later settled about 2% higher.

“It is the assessment of the United States government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters.

Pompeo did not provide explicit evidence to back up the U.S. assertion.

“This assessment 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,” Pompeo said.

U.S. and European security officials as well as regional analysts cautioned, however, against jumping to conclusions, leaving open the possibility that Iranian proxies, or someone else entirely, might have been responsible.

There are lots of moving parts and ‘facts’ at the moment, so my only advice would be treat things with extra caution,” said one security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Iran has repeatedly warned it would block the Strait of Hormuz if it cannot sell its oil because of U.S. sanctions.

Both Iran and the United States have said they want to avoid war.

“Iran will never initiate a war but will give a crushing response to any aggression,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday.

U.S. Central Command said in a statement on Thursday evening that “we have no interest in engaging in a new conflict in the Middle East. We will defend our interests, but a war with Iran is not in our strategic interest, nor in the best interest of the international community.”

Pompeo said U.S. policy remained making economic and diplomatic efforts to bring Iran back to negotiations on a broader deal.

The Iranian U.N. mission’s statement said: “It is ironic that the U.S. who unlawfully withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action now calls Iran to come back to negotiations and diplomacy,” using the formal name of the 2015 nuclear accord.

Some regional analysts said they thought the attacks were likely to have been carried out by Iran and described them as a way for Tehran to try to acquire negotiating leverage and perhaps increase global pressure for U.S.-Iran talks.

“There is always the possibility that somebody is trying to blame the Iranians,” said Jon Alterman of Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies, referring to a so-called false flag operation to implicate another nation.

By publicly blaming Iran, the administration may hope to get Tehran to stop such attacks, said U.S. foreign policy veteran Dennis Ross, now at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

“By attributing responsibility, by elevating and publicizing it, (they may hope) that the Iranians will realize they need to take a step back,” said Ross, adding: “I’m not sure that is going to be the result.”

“The Iranians, in response to our maximum pressure, are practicing their own version of maximum pressure,” he said.


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Magneto
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14 Jun 2019, 7:15 am

I'd like to see the evidence that Iran is responsible before any escalation. It wouldn't be the first time America was dragged into a war over a naval incident that didn't happen.

Alternatively, if we go to war on the basis of "Trust us, it's them", I want a suspended death sentence on those responsible for taking us to war, which will be activated if it is discovered they are lying.


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JohnPowell
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14 Jun 2019, 3:53 pm

Iran would be the least likely suspects.


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TheRevengeofTW1ZTY
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14 Jun 2019, 4:03 pm

Magneto wrote:
I'd like to see the evidence that Iran is responsible before any escalation. It wouldn't be the first time America was dragged into a war over a naval incident that didn't happen.

Alternatively, if we go to war on the basis of "Trust us, it's them", I want a suspended death sentence on those responsible for taking us to war, which will be activated if it is discovered they are lying.

Afuckinmen!



Borromeo
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16 Jun 2019, 9:17 pm

I hope the sailors are not hurt.



TheRevengeofTW1ZTY
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16 Jun 2019, 9:25 pm

Well I think Trump finally has the convient excuse to destroy Iran like he threatened to do on Twitter. :roll: