Saudi crown prince lashes out at Iran over tanker attacks

Kuwait disputes US’ anti Iran claims on PG oil tanker attacks

Saudi Arabia has called for "rapid and decisive" 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.

Russian Federation warned against "baseless accusations" and a "sober appraisal of evidence" after Iran and the United States traded charges over the reported attacks on commercial tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

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Coalition leaders, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, accuse Iran's Revolutionary Guards and Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah of supporting the Houthis, a charge all three deny.

Despite the bold accusations and hawkish rhetoric - US President Donald Trump went so far as to call Iran a "nation of terror" - Washington maintains that it would like to stick to "diplomacy" in dealing with Tehran.

"The crew told us something came flying at the ship, and they found a hole", President Yutaka Katada of Kokuka Sangyo told a press conference in Tokyo.

Both Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom have backed the U.S. assessment.

He made the remarks in an interview published Sunday by the pan-Arabic newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. But we won't hesitate to deal with any threat to our people, our sovereignty, our territorial integrity and our vital interests.

Washington accused Tehran of being behind the attacks, which took place as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in Tehran for talks aimed at defusing tensions between Iran and the United States.

He did not offer any evidence to back up the allegation.

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"The problem is in Tehran, not somewhere else". "Iran is always the party that's escalating in the region, carrying out terrorist attacks and criminal attacks either directly or through its militias".

France and other European signatories to the nuclear deal have said they wanted to save the accord.

Speaking on "Fox News Sunday", Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated the USA official position. It still remains unclear what exactly happened with the ships, as conflicting reports suggested the use of magnetic mines, torpedoes and even an aerial attack.

"Our allies warned the United States, I think our intelligence agencies warned policymakers, that this kind of Iranian reaction was likely a result of a policy of withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear Agreement", Schiff said.

Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said London had concluded Iran was "almost certainly" responsible for last Thursday's tanker attacks.

Thursday's incidents forced the evacuation of all 44 sailors aboard the two vessels.

A spokeswoman for Frontline Management, the Norwegian company that owns the ship, said "all 23 crew members of the tanker departed Iran" and flew to Dubai on Saturday.

Similar to the recent attacks, four oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates were apparently targeted in acts of sabotage, which USA officials have blamed on Iran.

Turkey's ties with Saudi Arabia have come under strain since the brutal murder last October of Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, which tarnished the worldwide reputation of the crown prince.

The Saudi strikes hit air-defence systems and military positions in the Houthi-controlled city, days after the rebels launched a missile attack on the kingdom's Abha airport, according to local Saudi media.



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