Economy

Iran Claims Credit for UAE, Saudi Ship Attacks

Iran Claims Credit for UAE, Saudi Ship Attacks

In 1987, members of the Iran-backed Hezbollah Al-Hejaz set arson at a facility in the Ras Tanura oil complex in eastern Saudi Arabia.

The kingdom's state-owned oil company did not specify the nature of the "sabotage" on the two oil tankers nor did it reveal who it believed had carried out the attack.

"We will also retaliate and retaliate hard when we see the Houthis hit civilian targets within Saudi Arabia", Gargash said.

"Reports on Sunday of explosions in Fujairah are likely to add further impetus to a potentially growing risk premium in the region, with initial reports suggesting oil tankers specifically were targeted in an apparent sabotage", Vienna-based consultancy JBC Energy said.

The New York Times reported late on Monday that the Pentagon had developed an "updated military plan" that would involve sending as much as 120,000 troops to the Middle East if Iran were to attack U.S. forces or accelerate its nuclear weapons program.

Iran's foreign ministry called the incidents "worrisome and dreadful" and asked for an investigation into the matter.

"For the moment the frigate Mendez Nunez has left the combat group", a defence ministry spokesman told the AFP news agency. Iran has since said it would begin enriching uranium at higher levels by July 7 if world powers failed to negotiate new terms for the deal.

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The Houthi drone attack, the government said, made it necessary for the worldwide community to act and do everything to immediately repulse this "terrorist group" and its supporters.

"Saudi Aramco took precautionary measures and temporarily stopped operation of the pipeline, as it is evaluating the situation and working on restoring the operations of the affected pump station and the pipeline", Al-Falih said. According to him, the attack "did not lead to any casualties or an oil spill but damaged the structures of the two vessels.".

The Gulf Cooperation Council condemned the tanker sabotage on Monday as a "serious escalation" that could "increase tensions and conflict in the region and jeopardize the interests of their peoples". A statement from officials alleges the sabotage inflicted "significant damage" to the two Saudi ships. The authorities "took all the necessary measures" and started investigating the incident "in cooperation with local and worldwide bodies". He said he would "absolutely" be willing to send troops but had not planned for that, and if he was going to "we'd send a hell of a lot more".

Iran rejects the allegation of Iranian involvement and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that " extremist individuals" in the US government were pursuing risky policies.

AP news agency, after speaking to Emirati officials and local witnesses, found the report about explosions at the port to be unsubstantiated.

Fujairah also is about 140 kilometres south of the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which a third of all oil at sea is traded.