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Iran faces new scrutiny as oil tankers hit by torpedos and mines near Straight of Hormuz

Tehran has some explaining to do.

The trumpets of war are once again sounding in the Straight of Hormuz after an oil tanker was set ablaze by torpedo.

This attack is the second of its kind in as many weeks, aimed directly at the heart of the world’s economy.  The first attack, carried out by underwater drones believed to be under the control of the Iranian government, targeted 4 Saudi oil vessels, disrupting their passage out of the volatile waters of the Middle East.

Today’s attack was quite similar, and Iran has already found themselves on the receiving end of the blame game.

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A US defence official told CBS News that it is “highly likely Iran caused these attacks”.

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The source also dismissed the Islamic Republic’s earlier claim that they had rescued all the crew members from both ships branding the report “patently false.”

He said the USS Bainbridge had rescued 21 of the 44 stricken sailors involved in the incident near the Strait of Hormuz.

Earlier, Tehran’s news agency IRNA claimed Iranian search and rescue teams had taken all the crew members to the port of Jask.

There was a strong US connection as well.

Norwegian shipping firm Frontline, which owns the Altair, has denied Iranian reports that the tanker had sunk.

The ship was built in 2016 and is flagged to the Marshall Islands – a US associated state in the Pacific Ocean.

Tensions have been riding high in the region for months, after US President Donald Trump effectively nullified an Obama era nuclear deal between the US and Iran.  This prompted leaders in Tehran to lash out at the United States politically and verbally, with these recent attacks on world oil infrastructure believed to be an extension of that agitation.

 

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