Saudi Arabia Says Oil Tankers Damaged in ‘Sabotage Attack’ as Middle East Tensions Rise
Saudi Arabia said two of its oil tankers were attacked while sailing toward the Persian Gulf, adding to regional tensions as the U.S. increases pressure on Iran.
The Saudi tankers were damaged in “a sabotage attack” off the United Arab Emirates coast on Sunday, state-run Saudi Press Agency reported. The vessels were approaching the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most important chokepoint for oil shipments. The U.A.E. foreign ministry on Sunday reported an attack on four commercial ships near its territorial waters. No one has claimed responsibility.
The precise nature of the incident remained unclear — neither Saudi Arabia nor the U.A.E. said exactly what happened — but the report comes at a time of heightened tensions in the Gulf. The U.S. has deployed an aircraft carrier, bomber planes and defense missiles to the region amid worsening friction with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional rival.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said the incident aims “to undermine the freedom of maritime navigation, and the security of oil supplies to consumers all over the world,” according to SPA. He urged the international community to ensure the security of oil tankers “to mitigate against the adverse consequences of such incidents on energy markets, and the danger they pose to the global economy.”
Antagonism between the U.S. and Iran intensified this month… Continue reading from FORTUNE…
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