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TENSIONS CONTINUE TO RISE AFTER ATTACKS ON TWO OIL TANKERS on the Gulf of Oman, an International trade strategic route.
The Gulf of Oman or Sea of Oman, is an International trade strategic route through which a third of the world’s liquefied natural gas and 20% of global oil consumption passes from Middle East producers, a gulf that connects the Arabian Sea with the Strait of Hormuz, which then runs to the Persian Gulf. It borders Iran and Pakistan on the north, Oman on the south, and the United Arab Emirates on the west.
In 2018, scientists confirmed the Gulf of Oman contains one of the world’s largest marine dead zones, where the ocean contains little or no oxygen and marine wildlife can not exist. The dead zone encompasses nearly the entire 63,700-square-mile Gulf of Oman. The cause is a combination of increased ocean warming, and increased runoff of nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizers.
In what is the second time in a few weeks that tankers are shown as having been attacked in the Gulf of Oman region as tensions escalate between Iran and the United States.
The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo indicated that Iran is behind what he termed as the latest in a series of “unprovoked attacks” adding that the US had made its assessment based on intelligence about the type of weapons used.
However, a senior Iranian official told the BBC: “Iran has no connection with the incident.”
The head of the Arab League on Friday warned Iran against escalation with the United States, and noted the conflicting reports on Thursday’s alleged attacks against a pair of tankers off Iran’s coast. “My call to my Iranian — and I call them Iranian brothers: Be careful and reverse course because you’re pushing everybody towards a confrontation that no one would be safe if it happens,” Ahmed Aboul Gheit said after meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres at the UN headquarters in New York.
Gheit, the secretary general of the pan-Arab bloc, addressed the conflicting claims of responsibility for the attack on two ships near the strategic Strait of Hormuz. The US said Iran is responsible for the attack, a charge Tehran denies“We believe that responsibilities need to be clearly defined,” Aboul Gheit said. “The facts will be revealed, I am sure, it’s only a matter of time.
In Britain, the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn has called for the Government to abstain from escalating tensions with Iran without “credible evidence” that Tehran was responsible for attacks on two oil tankers, warning that Britain risked increasing the threat of war after the Foreign Office (FCO) said it was “almost certain” in its assessment that “a branch of the Iranian military… attacked the two tankers on 13 June”.
“No other state or non-state actor could plausibly have been responsible,” the FCO said, pointing to a “recent precedent for attacks by Iran against oil tankers”.
Britain’s Foreign Secretary Hunt condemned the Oil tanker attacks, saying they built on “a pattern of destabilising Iranian behaviour and pose a serious danger to the region”.
Recently, on Friday, the US released footage said to show an unexploded mine being removed from one of the tankers by Iranian special forces.
But Iranian president Hassan Rouhani accused the US of “carrying out an aggressive policy and posing a serious threat to regional stability”.
Tehran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, earlier said the US “immediately jumped to make allegations against Iran without a shred of factual or circumstantial evidence”. Sibusiso Ngwenya.source Independent/ Times of Israel/ wikipedia
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