Fears of confrontation rises as U.S. President Donald Trump blames Iran for oil tanker attacks

US President Donald Trump has blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. on June 13, 2019, Two Oil Tankers was set on fire off the coast of Iran after the apparent torpedo attack

The attacks have raised fears of a confrontation in the vital oil shipping route at a time of increased tension between Iran and the US over American sanctions and military moves in the Middle East, Tehran’s proxy groups in the region and its nuclear program.

Iran had dismissed earlier US claims that it was behind the attacks and accused the US and its regional allies such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates of “warmongering” by making accusations.

Referring to a grainy video released by the Pentagon that the US claimed showed an Iranian military vessel recovering an unexploded limpet mine from one of the two tankers, Mr. Trump said: “You saw the boat at night.”

“Iran did do it and you know they did it because you saw the boat,” Mr Trump


The Japanese-owned tanker, abandoned by its crew, was being towed to a port in the United Arab Emirates on Friday, after a Dutch firm said it had been appointed to salvage the ships.

The second tanker, the Front Altair, which was set ablaze by a blast, was still languishing at sea, although the fire that charred the hull had been extinguished.

U.S. President Donald Trump blames Iran for oil tanker attacks
A US Central Command photograph showing what it said was damage to the side of the Kokuka Courageous and a probable unexploded limpet mine on the ship’s hull.

Iran said the video proved nothing and that it was being made into a scapegoat.

“These accusations are alarming,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.

However, Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president, on Friday rejected the allegations and accused Washington of being a danger to the Middle East. “The US government has turned into a serious threat to the stability of the region and the world over the past two years through misusing its economic, financial and military capacities,” he said.

The latest incidents came after four oil tankers, including two Saudi vessels, were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates last month, which John Bolton, US national security adviser, blamed on Iran, and a Houthi drone targeted a Saudi oil pipeline.

The attacks on international shipping have rekindled memories of the 1980s tanker war when the bloody Iran-Iraq war spilled over into the Gulf with years of escalating attacks on merchant shipping.
The US eventually intervened in 1987 by deploying naval vessels to escort tankers through the oil choke point of the Strait of Hormuz.


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