On 13 June, the two vessels, Front Altair and Kokuka Courageous, were reportedly hit by explosions in Iran's territorial waters in the Gulf of Oman. The cause of the incident remains unknown but US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo immediately blamed Iran. Shortly after, CENTCOM said a US Navy destroyer was headed towards the region. Tehran has strongly denied any involvement in the incident. In a press release, Iran’s has mission urged the international community to prevent the United States and its allies from escalating tensions in the region.
As a dutiful NATO member, Norway has participated in over 40 military operations abroad, becoming a staple in recent US-led missions, including the Balkans, Mali, Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, and Syria.
Over the last year, the relationship between the United States and Iran has suffered numerous blows. It started when US authorities withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal and imposed tough sanctions against key sectors of the Iranian economy in order to "change the behaviour" of the Islamic republic.
Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies have expressed grave concerns over the recent string of sabotage attacks on oil tankers off the UAE coast and the Gulf of Oman, and accused Iran of involvement in the attacks. Tehran has vehemently denied the claims, and accused the US and its allies of escalating the crisis in the region.
Tel Aviv has repeatedly accused Tehran of supporting 'terrorist' groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, and of waging proxy wars in countries such as Syria which could pose a threat to Israel's security. Iran has denied the charges, and accused Israel and its allies of engaging in military aggression across the region.
Tensions between the US and Iran have escalated after an alleged attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman was blamed on Iran by the United States. Tehran vehemently denies the allegations.
The United States continues to amass military forces in the vicinity of Iran, in the wake of tanker incidents near the Strait of Hormuz and the alleged threat that Iran poses to US forces operating in the Middle East.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Kremlin calls on all the parties to show restraint amid Washington's plans to boost its military presence in the Middle East, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.
UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has come under fierce neocon attack over a tweet he published saying that ‘without credible evidence about the tankers attacks, the government’s rhetoric will only increase the threat of war’.
The United States Defence Department previously announced the dispatching of additional troops to the Middle East amid a reported attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week, which the US authorities quickly blamed on Iran.
TOKYO (Sputnik) – The Japanese government expressed concern on Tuesday over the United States’ plans to deploy additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East following the recent attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.
US Acting Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan said in a Monday statement that the Pentagon has authorized the deployment of an additional 1,000 troops for defensive purposes "to address air, naval, and ground-based threats in the Middle East".
LONDON (Sputnik) - Moscow has urged London to refrain from hasty conclusions or accusations with regard to a recent incident involving oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman until an international investigation is completed, a spokesperson for the Russian Embassy in the United Kingdom said Monday.
Last week, two oil tankers, the Kokuka Courageous and the Front Altair, were attacked in the Gulf of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz. While the causes of the incident remain unknown, the United States has claimed that Iran sabotaged the vessels.
Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia blamed Iran for the 13 June attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman added that although his country does not want a war, it would respond to any threats faced by its people.
Previously, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman accused Iran of attacking the two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, despite Tehran vehemently denying the accusations. Iran has suggested that the blasts were a US false-flag operation carried out in order to intensify pressure on the Islamic Republic.
The US earlier claimed that the Islamic Republic was behind the attack against ships operated by Japan and Norway in the Gulf of Oman on 13 June and has even released video “evidence”. While Tehran vehemently denies any involvement, the Japanese government reportedly considers Washington’s allegations unconvincing.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Following an initial inspection of the Front Altair oil tanker, one of the two vessels hit by an explosion last week in the Gulf of Oman, no hot spots were found and the ship is being tugged to an area off the northeast shore of the United Arab Emirates, Frontline Management AS, the vessel's parent company, said in a statement.
A second mysterious attack on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman has escalated already simmering tensions in the Middle East and marred Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's talks in Tehran. Mark Sleboda, a security analyst and former nuclear reactor operator in the US Navy, has suggested that US military forces were likely involved in the incident.
The development comes shortly after Britain's ambassador to Iran, Rob Macaire, denied reports that he had been summoned by the Iranian Foreign Ministry in the wake of London accusing Tehran of attacking two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on 13 June.
OSLO (Sputnik) - A specialist team will inspect the Front Altair oil tanker, one of the two vessels that suffered an explosion last week in the Gulf of Oman, to assess its condition and damages, Frontline Management AS, the vessel's parent company, said in a statement.