Tankers virtually actually broken by Iranian naval mines, US says

Handout photo showing damage to hull of Norwegian oil tanker Andrea Victory off coast of the UAE (13 May 2019)Picture copyright

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The Norwegian vessel Andrea Victory was considered one of 4 oil tankers broken on 12 Could

US Nationwide Safety Adviser John Bolton has mentioned “naval mines virtually actually from Iran” had been in charge for the harm to grease tankers within the Gulf of Oman earlier this month.

Mr Bolton supplied no proof to assist the allegation.

Iran has denied involvement within the assaults off the jap coast of the United Arab Emirates on 12 Could, which left holes within the hulls of 4 ships.

The incident got here amid an escalation in tensions between Iran and the US.

Final Friday, US Vice Admiral Michael Gilday mentioned he believed “with a excessive diploma of confidence that this [attack] stems again to the management of Iran on the highest ranges”.

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Mr Bolton, a long-standing advocate for regime change in Iran, echoed the admiral’s phrases throughout a go to to the UAE on Wednesday, telling reporters it was “clear that Iran is behind” the assault.

“There is no doubt in anyone’s thoughts in Washington who’s chargeable for this,” he mentioned. “Who else would you assume is doing it? Somebody from Nepal?”

What do we all know in regards to the incident?

Few particulars have been launched, nevertheless it came about at about 06:00 (02:00 GMT) on Sunday, 12 Could, inside UAE territorial waters east of the emirate of Fujairah, simply exterior the Strait of Hormuz.

The UAE authorities mentioned 4 ships had been focused in a “sabotage assault”.

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John Bolton mentioned there had additionally been an unsuccessful assault on the Saudi port of Yanbu

There have been no casualties however Saudi Arabia mentioned two of its ships had suffered “important harm”.

One other tanker was Norwegian-registered, whereas the fourth was UAE-flagged.

The UAE has not publicly blamed anybody for the sabotage of the vessels.

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What has this acquired to do with the US and Iran?

On paper, little. No US-flagged ship was attacked, and no proof has been supplied that Iran was concerned.

However the US sees the assault as a part of a wider “marketing campaign” in opposition to it and its allies accepted by Iranian leaders.

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Media captionUS particular consultant for Iran: ‘We’re not seeking to get right into a conflict’

Mr Bolton mentioned Iran-backed forces additionally carried out drone strikes on two oil pumping stations in Saudi Arabia on 14 Could and fired a rocket into an space of the Iraqi capital Baghdad that homes the US embassy on 19 Could.

He additionally revealed that there had been “an unsuccessful assault on the Saudi port of Yanbu a few days earlier than the assault on tankers”.

Iran has denied it was concerned within the assaults in Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

What’s behind the heightened US-Iran tensions?

The tensions started rising at first of Could, when Washington ended exemptions from sanctions for nations nonetheless shopping for from Iran. The choice was meant to convey Iran’s oil exports to zero, denying the federal government its principal income.

Mr Trump reinstated the sanctions a 12 months in the past after abandoning the landmark 2015 nuclear deal that Iran signed with six nations – the 5 everlasting members of the UN Safety Council and Germany.

Iran has now introduced it it is going to droop a number of commitments below the deal.

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