Sabotage in the Gulf

This isn’t usually a news blog but I found this breaking news sufficiently interesting and important I thought I would break in and comment on it. From CBS News:

Saudi Arabia said Monday two of its oil tankers were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates in attacks that caused “significant damage” to the vessels. One of the ships was en route to pick up Saudi oil to take to the United States, a Saudi government minister said.

The announcement by the kingdom’s energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, came on the heels of a new warning to sailors in the region from the U.S. While no blame was cast at Iran or any other nation for the alleged attack on the ships, it fuelled fears that a miscommunication or small act of antagonism in the politically charged region could quickly escalate into a full conflict.

Late last week the U.S. Maritime Administration warned commercial shipping companies that from the beginning of May there had been, “an increased possibility that Iran and/or its regional proxies could take action against U.S. and partner interests, including oil production infrastructure, after recently threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz. Iran or its proxies could respond by targeting commercial vessels, including oil tankers, or U.S. military vessels in the Red Sea, Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, or the Persian Gulf.”

That fills me with questions. How long will it take before Saudi blames Iran for the sabotage? Present reports say that the Saudis haven’t named any suspects. How long will it take before the Iranians blame the Israelis or the Americans for them? Iranian politicians are already blaming saboteaurs from an unnamed third country. And what country would that be?

4 comments… add one
  • steve Link

    Too many potential bad actors here to figure this one out.


  • bob sykes Link

    It may be a false flag attack intended to justify air attacks on Iran. It may also be a real attack by Iran intended to show that the UAE pipeline that bypasses the Strait of Hormuz is no solution the the blockade problem.

    We are on the brink of a major world catastrophe. Venezuela, China, Russia, North Korea, all of the policies pushed by Bolton and Pompeo are failing at the same time. Can nuclear war be avoided?

  • Can nuclear war be avoided?

    Nuclear war can be avoided as long as the U. S. and Russia keep clear heads. As I’ve said before, the most important bilateral relationship in the world is that between the U. S. and Russia. That’s why I don’t much care for all of the anti-Russian hysteria of the last several years.

    You don’t have to think that the Russian leadership are good guys to recognize that. There’s a middle ground between alliance and belligerence. It takes political subtlety to run on that middle ground.

  • steve Link

    “That’s why I don’t much care for all of the anti-Russian hysteria of the last several years.”

    It has only been called hysteria because it was suggested it might have helped Trump. Our actual response has been pretty minimal. They got caught interfering in our elections. Of course it would be investigated. So the recent responses have not worried me a whole lot. What really worried me and still has consequences was our mindless expansion of NATO.


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