Published: Wed, May 15, 2019
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

Iran Claims Credit for UAE, Saudi Ship Attacks

Iran Claims Credit for UAE, Saudi Ship Attacks

The minister, the state news agency said, stressed that "Saudi oil production has not been interrupted".

"President Donald J. Trump has decided not to reissue Significant Reduction Exceptions (SREs) when they expire in early May", the White House said in a statement at the time.

The Associated Press reported that "Iranian or Iranian-backed proxies" were behind the attacks. "Our goal is to respond to the crimes they are committing everyday against the Yemeni people".

Saudi Arabia claimed that two of its oil tankers were attacked on Sunday while sailing toward the Persian Gulf. It wasn't immediately known where the Houthis launched the drones.

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 USA forces or accelerate its nuclear weapons program. He said there will be no negotiations on a new nuclear deal.

One editor noted there was also an attack at the Saudi Arabian Port of Yanbu in the Red Sea.

Saudi Arabia's energy minister, Khalid Al Falih, has deemed the attack against oil pumping stations on the nation's vital East-West Pipeline as "an act of terrorism".

Falih said the attack aimed to undermine maritime freedom and "security of oil supplies to consumers all over the world".

Saudi Arabia said the two petroleum pumping stations that were struck by drones are located in the greater region of Riyadh, home to the landlocked capital.

Iranian military officials have upped their rhetoric in response.

A fifth of global oil consumption passes through the Strait of Hormuz from Middle East crude producers to global markets.

Washington and its Gulf allies stopped short of blaming Tehran for what the UAE and Saudi Arabia called the "sabotage" of four ships, including two Saudi oil tankers, on Sunday.

"The master of MT Andrea Victory reported the crew were unharmed but there was a hole in the hull area of the aft peak tank".

In regards to the Saudi, Norwegian and Emirati oil tankers that were attacked, USA military assessment indicated that Iranian-affiliated agents used explosives to blow holes in the ships.

The oil tankers were visible in satellite images provided Tuesday to the AP by Colorado-based Maxar Technologies. The other three showed no visible major damage from above.

An American military team's initial assessment is that Iranian or Iranian-backed proxies used explosives Sunday to blow large holes in four ships anchored off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, a US official said Monday.

The announcement by the Iranian leader comes amid increasing tensions between the Islamic Republic and the USA, which has recently increased its military presence in the Middle East in order to counter Tehran.

Iran's Foreign Ministry called the incidents "worrisome and dreadful" and called for an investigation. They also urged the United States to show restraint to avoid an escalation with Iran.

On Tuesday, Spain's Ministry of Defense temporarily pulled a 215-sailor frigate that was part of a US-led combat fleet out of the Persian Gulf due to mounting tension between Iran and the US.

Some analysts have said that with the growing presence of US military hardware and troops in the Persian Gulf, even the slightest misstep could set off a serious conflict in the region.

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