Two oil tankers flying Saudi flags, one from Norway and one from the United Arab Emirates hit. Abu Dhabi speaks of a "serious" episode. Tehran hopes for a thorough investigation to shed some light. News sources deny the version of the incident. The US secretary of state in Brussels in search of allies for the war against the Islamic Republic.
Abu Dhabi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Four commercial ships have been the subject of mysterious "acts of sabotage" off the United Arab Emirates, in the context of a tense situation between the United States (and Arab allies) and Tehran that shows no signs of abating.
According to the Riyadh and Abu Dhabi authorities the mysterious attack took place on 12 May and involved two oil tankers flying Saudi flags, one Norwegian and one from the United Arab Emirates.
The first to talk about the incident in the Gulf waters was the Emirates Energy Minister Khaled al-Falih, according to whom "two Saudi oil tankers have been subjected to acts of sabotage in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the United Arab Emirates, off the coast of the emirate of Fujaïrah “. The ships, he adds, "were about to enter the Gulf of Arabia".
Abu Dhabi did not want to name the possible perpetrators of the damage, but speaks of a "serious" episode that will have consequences. In fact, some images published yesterday by the Associated Press (AP) deny the sabotage version and the ships that were the object of the (alleged) attack do not show obvious damage on wither bow.
An official US source in Washington - without providing supporting evidence - accuses Iran and its allies, who would have used explosives to hit the four boats.
But the reality is that the satellite photos provided by Maxar Technologies, a company based in Colorado, reveal little damage only in the UAE A. Michel oil tanker which could have caused the release of crude oil. The other three ships, on the other hand, are intact or without obvious damage.
Meanwhile, the Iranian authorities have called for the opening of an investigation, claiming that they were not involved in the incident. "These incidents in the Oman sea are alarming and unbecoming" said Tehran Foreign Ministry spokesman, who warned against "the adventurism (of some foreign actors) to destabilize the region. Immediate reply from the Emirati counterpart, which ensures that "the investigation will be conducted in a professional manner", but Abu Dhabi would already have "its own version of the facts and its own conclusions".
The report of the sabotage coincided with the visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Brussels yesterday. The head of US diplomacy met with European Union (EU) counterparts to discuss "urgent issues, namely Iran and the nuclear agreement.
The context of the meeting [“hurriedly” organized according to the head of EU diplomacy Federica Mogherini] is once again the substantial difference of visions between the parties with Europe committed to saving what remains of the nuclear agreement ( Jcpoa). And the United States looking for a pretext to hit the Islamic Republic.