Iran rejects U.S. accusation of involvement in tanker attacks

Iran has rebuffed blame for attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and affirmed its duty for safety in the Strait of Hormuz, the place nearly a fifth of the world’s oil passes, state radio reported Friday.

Washington pointed the finger at Tehran for Thursday’s attacks that drove up oil costs and heightened concern a few new U.S.-Iranian confrontation.

“Clearly, accusing Iran for such a suspicious and unlucky incident is the best and essentially the most handy manner for [U.S. Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo and different U.S. officers. “These accusations are alarming,” International Ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi was quoted as saying by Iran’s state radio.

“We’re accountable for guaranteeing the safety of the strait and we’ve rescued the crew of these attacked tankers in the shortest doable time.”

It was not instantly clear what triggered the explosions that compelled the crews to desert ship and depart each the Norwegian-owned Entrance Altair and Japanese-owned Kokuka Brave adrift in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran.

The U.S. navy launched a video late on Thursday it mentioned confirmed Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) eradicating an unexploded mine from the facet of the Japanese-owned oil tanker.

Watch the video launched by the U.S. navy:

The U.S. navy says this video reveals Iran’s Revolutionary Guard eradicating an unexploded limpet mine from one of the oil tankers focused close to the Strait of Hormuz. 1:52

Iranian International Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected the U.S. accusations as half of “sabotage diplomacy.”

The blasts, south of the Strait of Hormuz, adopted final month’s attacks on vessels off the Fujairah emirate, one of the world’s largest bunkering hubs.

Two oil tankers close to the strategic Strait of Hormuz have been reportedly attacked on Thursday.

About 17.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil cross by the strait. Consumption was about 100 million bpd in 2017, knowledge from analytics agency Vortexa confirmed.

Brent crude futures rose 0.6 per cent to $61.69 US per barrel in Asian commerce on Friday, having gained 2.2 per cent the day gone by.

One supply mentioned the blast on the Entrance Altair might have been attributable to a magnetic mine. The agency that chartered the Kokuka Brave tanker mentioned it was hit by a suspected torpedo, however an individual with data of the matter mentioned that was not the case.

‘The area would not want additional escalation’

The European Union known as on Friday for optimum restraint amid the mounting tensions between the U.S. and Iran

“We’re gathering extra info and we’re assessing the state of affairs,” a spokesperson for the EU’s overseas service informed reporters. “Now we have mentioned repeatedly that the area would not want additional escalation, it would not want destabilization, it would not want additional pressure and subsequently we name for optimum restraint and to keep away from provocations.”

IRGC commanders have mentioned Iran would block all exports by the strait if nations heed U.S. calls to cease shopping for its oil. In April, Washington designated the IRGC a overseas terrorist group.

The U.S. navy’s Central Command additionally launched pictures exhibiting the obvious mine, which attaches to the facet of a ship magnetically, earlier than it was eliminated later in the day.

This picture launched by the U.S. navy’s Central Command, reveals harm and a suspected mine on the Kokuka Brave in the Gulf of Oman close to the coast of Iran. (U.S. Central Command/Related Press)

Comprising an estimated 125,000-strong navy with navy, military and air models, the Guards management Iran’s missile packages. The Guards’ abroad Quds forces have fought Iran’s proxy wars in the area for many years from Yemen to Syria.

Relations between Tehran and Washington took a flip for the more severe final 12 months, when U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and 6 world powers, and reimposed sanctions that have been lifted underneath the deal in return for Tehran curbing its nuclear work.

With out mentioning the attacks, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani informed leaders of a China-led safety bloc in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek that U.S. withdrawal from the deal posed a critical menace to stability in the Center East.

Tensions have spiked additional since Trump acted final month to drive Iran’s oil prospects to slash their imports to zero or face draconian U.S. monetary sanctions.

Iran’s oil exports, its financial lifeblood, have dropped to about 400,000 bpd in Could from 2.5 million bpd in April final 12 months.

Chinese language President Xi Jinping informed Rouhani on Friday that Beijing, a signatory of the nuclear pact, will promote regular improvement of ties with Iran regardless of how the state of affairs adjustments, the official Xinhua information company reported.


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