Arab world condemns attacks on oil tankers off UAE

Arab world condemns 'sabotage attacks' on oil tankers off UAE coast
2 min read
13 May, 2019
Saudi Arabia has deplored 'sabotage attacks' on two of its oil tankers off the strategic UAE port of Fujairah.
Two Saudi oil tankers were destroyed in the Fujairah attack [Getty]

Saudi Arabia said two of its oil tankers were damaged in "sabotage attacks" that happened off the strategic UAE port of Fujairah.

“The acts of sabotage targeted commercial and civilian vessels near the territorial waters of the United Arab Emirates," a Saudi foreign ministry source said.

"This criminal act constitutes a serious threat to the security and safety of maritime navigation and adversely impacts regional and international peace and security," the source added in their brawny condemnation.

The assault, which has yet to be claimed by a group, was condemned across the region, including by the GCC, Arab League and individual Arab states.

Iranian reaction

Meanwhile, Iran, ideological and power political rival of Saudi Arabia and ally UAE called the attacks in the Gulf "alarming".

"The incidents in the Sea of Oman are alarming and regrettable," Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday.

Mousavi "called for clarifications" concerning the "exact dimensions" of Sunday's attacks on ships in the Gulf, warning of "adventurism" by foreign players to disrupt maritime security.

He added such incidents would have a "negative impact... on shipping safety and maritime security" in the Gulf.

Mousavi also "warned against plots by ill-wishers to disrupt regional security" and "called for the vigilance of regional states in the face of any adventurism by foreign elements", the statement added.

Key port

On Sunday, the United Arab Emirates said that four commercial vessels of various nationalities had been targeted by acts of sabotage off the UAE port of Fujairah.

Fujairah port is the only terminal in the UAE located on the Arabian Sea coast, bypassing the Strait of Hormuz, a global shipping route through which most Gulf oil exports pass, and which Iran has repeatedly threatened to close in case of a military confrontation with the United States.

The incident comes amid rising tensions between Iran and the United States which has strengthened its military presence in the region, including deploying a number of strategic B-52 bombers in response to alleged threats from Tehran.

It also comes as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo scrapped a stop Monday in Moscow to visit Brussels instead for talks with European officials on Iran.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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