Iran says responsible for Strait of Hormuz after video shows mine removal

"We are in charge of maintaining security of the Strait and we rescued the crew of those attacked tankers in the shortest possible time," Iranian official said.

By REUTERS
June 14, 2019 11:15
2 minute read.

U.S. releases video it says shows Iran's military recovering tanker mine (Reuters)

U.S. releases video it says shows Iran's military recovering tanker mine (Reuters)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

DUBAI - Iran said on Friday it was responsible for maintaining the security of the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf, state radio reported, adding that blaming Tehran for attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman was alarming.

"We are in charge of maintaining security of the Strait and we rescued the crew of those attacked tankers in the shortest possible time ... U.S. Secretary of State (Mike) Pompeo's accusations towards Iran is alarming," Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.

The United States blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday that drove up oil prices and raised concern about a new U.S.-Iranian confrontation.

It was not immediately clear what caused the explosions that forced the crews to abandon ship and leave both the Norwegian-owned Front Altair and Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous adrift in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran.

The blasts, south of the Strait of Hormuz, followed last month's sabotage attacks on vessels off the Fujairah emirate, one of the world's largest bunkering hubs. Iran has distanced itself from the attacks.

Almost a fifth of the world’s oil passes through the Strait - some 17.2 million barrels per day (bpd). Consumption was about 100 million bpd in 2017, data from analytics firm Vortexa showed.

Brent crude futures rose 0.6% to $61.69 per barrel in Asian trade on Friday, having gained 2.2% the previous day, though at one point they had surged as much as 4.5% in the wake of the attacks.

Iran's key regional rival Saudi Arabia said that Riyadh was committed to providing reliable oil supplies to global markets. One source said the blast on the Front Altair, which caught fire and sent a huge plume of smoke into the air, may have been caused by a magnetic mine. The firm that chartered the Kokuka Courageous tanker said it was hit by a suspected torpedo, but a person with knowledge of the matter said torpedoes were not used.


The U.S. military released a video late on Thursday that it said showed Iran's Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) removing an unexploded mine from the side of the Japanese-owned oil tanker.

The U.S. military's Central Command also released photographs showing the apparent mine, which attaches to the side of a ship magnetically, before it was removed later in the day.

Tension between Iran and the United States has risen since May last year, when U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers that aimed to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions in exchange for sanctions relief.

Iran has repeatedly warned it would block the Strait of Hormuz if it cannot sell its oil because of U.S. sanctions.

Tensions have increased further since Trump reimposed sanctions on Iran and acted at the beginning of May to force Iran's oil customers to slash their imports to zero or face draconian U.S. financial sanctions.

Iran's oil exports, its economy's lifeblood, have dropped to about 400,000 bpd in May from 2.5 million bpd in April last year.

Now is the time to join the news event of the year - The Jerusalem Post Annual Conference!
For more information and to sign up,
click here>>

Related Content

An Iranian navy boat tries to stop the fire of an oil tanker after it was attacked in the Gulf
June 16, 2019
UK to send Royal Marines to Persian Gulf to protect British ships

By ALEX WINSTON

Cookie Settings