'Flying objects' damaged Japanese tanker during attack in Gulf of Oman

Crude Prices Rise After Tanker Explosions In Gulf

Oil prices jumped on Thursday after news of the tanker attacks broke, but prices have been weighed down during the week by fears of slowing oil demand growth and rising us inventories, and are on track for a weekly loss.

"It is Iran's modus operandi to use limpet mines and to show the USA that they have opportunities to attack the flow of oil in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz - but at the same time they are not attacking directly".

"The U.S. economic war and terrorism against the Iranian people as well as its massive military presence in the region have been and continue to be the main sources of insecurity and instability in the wider Persian Gulf region and the most significant threat to its peace and security", the statement said.

The footage, officials say, shows Iran's Revolutionary Guard pulling alongside a targeted ship to remove evidence after the attack - an unexploded limpet mine attached to the ship's hull by a magnet.

"It's not a great video and you cant see much detail it could but it looks like what the USA says it is", said Richard Meade, the editor of Lloyd's List, a shipping intelligence agency. "I guess one of the mines didn't explode and it's probably got essentially Iran written all over it". "You saw the boat at night trying to take the mine off unsuccessfully". "I have been in contact with Pompeo and, while we will be making our own assessment soberly and carefully, our starting point is obviously to believe our USA allies".

"Suspicious doesn't begin to describe what transpired this morning", said Iran's Foreign Minister Javid Zarif in his first tweet following the brazen high-seas assault on civilian shipping.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meets with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tehran, Iran, June 13, 2019.

This time, Japanese and Norwegian-owned oil tankers were the targets.

Iran said on Friday it was responsible for maintaining the security of the Strait of Hormuz and called accusations that it was responsible for the attacks "alarming".

The two tankers - one carrying oil and the other transporting chemicals - were attacked in worldwide waters near the strategically important Strait of Hormuz.

"If the hostility of enemies increase, we will be able to do so", Iran's armed forces chief of staff, Mohammad Bagheri, told semi-official ISNA in April.

Al-Jubeir also told CNN he does not know where the body of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi is.

Iwaya said Japan doesn't think the so-called "Self-Defense Force has a necessarily role to play at this point and we don't plan to send them to the Strait of Hormuz region in response to the attacks".

That was after another mine had already detonated, damaging the ship, the USA said. Joshua Frey, a 5th Fleet spokesman.

It is notable that tankers carrying Iranian cargoes, or tankers heading to Europe, seem to have been immune from such attacks.

Iran has rejected the USA claim they were involved in Thursday's tanker attacks.

It's the same type of mine used to damage four oil tankers last month in the same area - an attack senior Pentagon officials blamed on Iran. The impact happened above the water line so there was no damage to goods and fuel, and it is unlikely that the ship would sink, Katada said.

"These accusations are alarming", Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said, adding that blaming Iran for Thursday's attacks was "convenient" for USA officials. The mines disable, but don't sink, a vessel.

The new attacks come amid years of proxy warfare between Iran and Gulf allies Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and others. He didn't elaborate and took no questions.

Pompeo noted that Abe had asked Iran to enter into talks with Washington but Tehran "rejected" the overture.

Tensions between the two countries have been steadily increasing since the U.S. withdrew from an global nuclear deal that curbed sanctions on Iran. Katada also said the crew saw an Iranian naval ship nearby.

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