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Elham AbolFateh

Middle East

Saudi seeks oil supply protection as U.S and Iran face off

Saturday 15/June/2019 - 03:14 PM
Sada El Balad
Translated by: Mohamed Emad

Saudi Arabia called for swift action to secure Gulf energy supplies، after the United States blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers in a vital oil shipping route that have raised fears of broader confrontation in the region، according to Reuters.

Thursday’s tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman exacerbated the antagonistic fallout from similar blasts in May that crippled four vessels. Washington، already embroiled in a standoff with Iran over its nuclear program، has blamed Tehran.

Iran has denied any role in the strikes on the tankers south of the Strait of Hormuz، a major transit route for oil from Saudi Arabia، the world’s biggest crude exporter، and other Gulf producers.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said “there must be a rapid and decisive response to the threat” to energy supplies، market stability and consumer confidence after the attacks in the Gulf area، the Saudi Energy Ministry reported on Twitter.

The U.S. military released a video on Thursday، saying it showed Iran’s Revolutionary Guards were behind the explosions that damaged the Norwegian-owned Front Altair and the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous.

“Iran did do it and you know they did it because you saw the boat،” U.S. President Donald Trump told Fox News on Friday.

The United States has tightened sanctions on Iran since Washington withdrew from a 2015 nuclear pact between Tehran and global powers last year. Washington’s stated aim is to drive Iranian oil exports، the mainstay of its economy، to zero.

Tehran has said that if its oil exports were halted، it could block the Strait of Hormuz، a narrow channel of water separating Iran and Oman through which a fifth of the oil consumed globally passes.

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