WASHINGTON: The Pentagon said Thursday it was discussing military escorts for vessels in the Gulf one day after armed Iranian boats threatened a British oil tanker. The White House’s nominee to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, said Washington was attempting to put together a coalition “in terms of providing military escort, naval escort to commercial shipping.” “I think that that will be developing over the next couple weeks,“ Milley told the Senate Armed Services Committee. Tensions in the Gulf have increased in the past few weeks, with Iran’s economy in free fall following the re-imposition of US sanctions after President Donald Trump pulled out from a 2015 international agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program. The rapid chain of events further complicates Britain and other European allies’ efforts to salvage the 2015 JCPOA nuclear agreement despite the US withdrawal. Milley’s statement came … [Read more...] about US plans Gulf naval escorts after Iranians menace UK oil tanker
Gulf spring ship
DUBAI (REUTERS) - Two oil tankers were attacked on Thursday (June 13) and left adrift in the Gulf of Oman, driving up oil prices and stoking fears of a new confrontation between Iran and the United States, which blamed Teheran for the incident. “It is the assessment of the United States government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters in a brief appearance without providing hard evidence to back up the stance. “This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication,” he said. Washington accused Teheran of being behind a similar attack on May 12 on four tankers in the same area, a vital shipping route … [Read more...] about Tanker attacks in Gulf of Oman stoke fears over conflict and oil
PARIS: A surge of tensions in the Gulf has shown the risk of a military confrontation between arch-foes Iran and the United States, even if any conflict would likely be marked by guerrilla warfare rather than full-scale battles, analysts say.A series of mysterious attacks on ships off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, the key ally of Tehran's Gulf rival Saudi Arabia, prompted President Donald Trump to warn Iran would "suffer greatly" if it harmed US interests.The United States and Iran have had no diplomatic relations since the seizure by Iranian radicals of American embassy staff in the wake of the 1979 Islamic revolution.The two sides have at times been close to conflict - in particular during a tense period under former US president George W Bush - but analysts see a series of factors as making the current moment particularly combustible.Trump dismayed European allies by pulling out of the 2015 deal on Iran's nuclear programme unilaterally and is now ratcheting up the … [Read more...] about Could Gulf tensions lead to Iran-US war?
FUJAIRAH: Four ships, including two Saudi oil tankers, were damaged in mysterious “sabotage attacks” that have inflamed Gulf tensions amid a standoff between the United States and Iran. In the face of growing international concern, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo scrapped a planned visit to Moscow and headed to Brussels instead for talks Monday with European officials, as Britain warned of the danger of conflict erupting “by accident” in the Gulf. Turning up the pressure on Tehran after the United States deployed B-52 bombers and an assault ship to bolster an aircraft carrier in the region, President Donald Trump warned that Iran would “suffer greatly” were it to “do anything” to threaten US interests. “If they do anything, it would be a very bad mistake,“ Trump warned at the White House. “If they do anything they will suffer greatly.” Acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan proposed a revamped military plan at a … [Read more...] about Oil tankers ‘sabotaged’ as Gulf tensions soar
FUJAIRAH, United Arab Emirates: Four ships, including two Saudi oil tankers, were damaged in mysterious "sabotage attacks" that further inflamed Gulf tensions on Monday (May 13) amid a standoff between the United States and Iran.In the face of growing international concern, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo scrapped a planned visit to Moscow to head to Brussels instead for talks with European officials on Iran.Tehran called for an investigation into Sunday's "alarming" attacks off the Emirati coast and warned of "adventurism" by foreign players to disrupt maritime security.Britain warned of the danger of conflict erupting "by accident" in the Gulf.US President Donald Trump warned Iran would "suffer greatly" if it does "anything"."I'm hearing little stories about Iran," Trump said at the White House. "If they do anything, it would be a very bad mistake. If they do anything they will suffer greatly."The US has already strengthened its military presence in the region, including … [Read more...] about Oil tankers hit by ‘sabotage attacks’ as Gulf tensions soar