close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
AFP
June 17, 2019

US will guarantee passage through Strait of Hormuz

World

AFP
June 17, 2019

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran on Sunday for last week´s attacks on oil tankers and vowed that the United States will guarantee free passage through the vital Strait of Hormuz.

Pompeo would not be drawn on what options the US is considering to protect shipping -- or to punish Iran -- in the wake of Thursday´s attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman. "What you should assume is we are going to guarantee freedom of navigation throughout the strait," he said in an interview on "Fox News Sunday".

A third of the world´s seaborne oil supply passes through the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow channel bordered to the north by Iran that links the Gulf with the Gulf of Oman. "This is an international challenge, important to the entire globe. The United States is going to make sure that we take all the actions necessary, diplomatic and otherwise, that achieve that outcome," Pompeo said.

He would not lay out US evidence for Iran´s involvement in the Gulf of Oman explosions, but insisted: "It´s unmistakable what happened here." "These were attacks by the Islamic Republic of Iran on commercial shipping, on the freedom of navigation, with the clear intent to deny transit through the strait."

Meanwhile, a Japanese tanker, attacked in the Gulf in an incident that sparked a new standoff between Washington and Tehran, "arrived safely" on Sunday at an anchorage off the UAE, its management said.

The Kokuka Courageous was carrying highly flammable methanol through the Gulf of Oman on Thursday when it and the Norwegian-operated Front Altair were rocked by explosions. The US and Saudi Arabia have accused Iran of responsibility.

"Kokuka Courageous has arrived safely at the designated anchorage at Sharjah", an emirate neighbouring Dubai, the vessel´s Singapore-based BSM Ship Management said in a statement on Sunday.

The crew, who remained on board, were "safe and well", it said, adding that a damage assessment and preparations for transferring the ship´s cargo would start "once the port authorities have completed their standard security checks and formalities."

BSM Ship Management had said earlier Kokuka Courageous was heading towards an anchorage on the eastern coast of the United Arab Emirates, facing the Gulf of Oman. The other ship, the Front Altair, has left Iran´s territorial waters, multiple sources said on Saturday.

It was "heading toward the Fujairah-Khor Fakkan area in the United Arab Emirates", the ports chief of Iran´s southern province of Hormozgan told the semi-official news agency ISNA. A spokeswoman for Frontline Management, the Norwegian company which owns the ship, said "all 23 crew members of the tanker departed Iran" and flew to Dubai on Saturday.

The US military on Friday released grainy footage it said showed an Iranian patrol boat removing an "unexploded limpet mine" from the Japanese vessel. Tehran has vehemently denied any involvement.

Iran has repeatedly warned in the past that it could block the strategic Hormuz Strait in a relatively low-tech, high-impact countermeasure to any attack by the United States. Doing so would disrupt oil tankers travelling out of the Gulf region to the Indian Ocean and global export routes.

Topstory minus plus

Opinion minus plus

Newspost minus plus

Editorial minus plus

National minus plus

World minus plus

Sports minus plus

Business minus plus

Karachi minus plus

Lahore minus plus

Islamabad minus plus

Peshawar minus plus