Four ships ‘sabotaged’ in the Gulf of Oman amid tensions


Four commercial ships were targets of a “sabotage attack” off the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sunday, the country’s foreign affairs ministry has said. The incident reportedly took place near Fujairah port, just outside the Strait of Hormuz, but caused no casualties. Saudi Arabia confirmed that two Saudi oil tankers sustained “significant damage”. One of the other two vessels targeted was Norwegian-registered.

Iran, which borders the strait, has called for a full investigation. Tensions are high in the region, through which about a fifth of oil that is consumed globally passes. Last month, Iran threatened to “close” the Strait of Hormuz if it was prevented from using the waterway following a US decision to end exemptions from sanctions for major Iranian oil importers.

The US has deployed warships there in recent days to counter what it called “clear indications” of threats from Iran to its forces and maritime traffic in the region. Iran dismissed that allegation as nonsense. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unplanned visit to Brussels on Monday to discuss Iran with European foreign ministers.(BBC)…[+]