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2 tankers with Japan-related cargo attacked in Strait of Hormuz as Abe visits Iran

35 Comments

Japanese trade minister Hiroshige Seko said Thursday that two tankers carrying "Japan-related" cargo were attacked near the Strait of Hormuz.

Hiroshige Seko said on Thursday that all crew members were safely rescued. He said the government has set up a task force and that the government has informed the shipping industry to use precautions.

The Japan Shipowners' Association said one of the two ships attacked is a Panamanian-registered chemical tanker belonging to its Japanese member and was on its way to Singapore and Thailand, not to Japan.

It said all 21 Filipino crew members were uninjured.

The attacks came as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was wrapping up a two-day trip to Iran with a mission to ease tensions between Tehran and Washington. The timing of the attack was especially sensitive while Abe's high-stakes diplomacy mission was underway.

On Wednesday, after talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Abe warned that any "accidental conflict" that could be sparked amid the heightened U.S.-Iran tensions must be avoided.

No one has claimed responsibility or explained how the tankers were attacked.

Benchmark Brent crude spiked at one point by as much 4% in trading following the attack, to over $62 a barrel, highlighting how crucial the area remains to global energy supplies. A third of all oil traded by sea passes through the strait, which is the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf.

The latest incident in the region comes after the U.S. alleged that Iran used mines to attack four oil tankers off the nearby Emirati port of Fujairah last month. Iran has denied being involved, but it comes as Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen also have launched missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia.

Cmdr Joshua Frey, a 5th Fleet spokesman, said the U.S. Navy was assisting the two vessels that he described as being hit in a "reported attack." He did not say how the ships were attacked or who was suspected of being behind the assault.

Dryad Global, a maritime intelligence firm, preliminarily identified one of the vessels involved as the MT Front Altair, a Marshall Islands-flagged crude oil tanker. The vessel was "on fire and adrift," Dryad added. It did not offer a cause for the incident or mention the second ship.

The firm that operates the Front Altair told The Associated Press that an explosion was the cause of the fire onboard. International Tanker Management declined to comment further saying they are still investigating what caused the explosion. Its crew of 23 is safe after being evacuated by the nearby Hyundai Dubai vessel, it said.

The second vessel was identified as the Kokuka Courageous, operated by Tokyo-based Kokuka Sangyo Co. It was carrying 25,000 tons of methanol. BSM Ship Management said it sustained hull damage and 21 sailors had been evacuated, with one suffering minor injuries. Iranian state television said 44 sailors from the two tankers have been transferred to an Iranian port in the southern province of Hormozgan.

© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

35 Comments
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My guess: It is either Saudi Arabia or Israel trying to get the US to fight their war.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

@CrazyJoe

My guess: It is either Saudi Arabia or Israel trying to get the US to fight their war.

My guess: you’re wrong. But both of us are only guessing.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Trump is holding the cards for what is happening.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Now will the posters who stated that no tankers were damaged and the four limpet mine attacks never happened please step forward. You know who you are.

Interesting that these attacks happened between 6 and 7 am local time, the same early morning period as when the mine timers were set for last month.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Careening toward war. Right on schedule for the 2020 elections. 

But I believe Trump is making a huge tactical blunder here. The American people don't want war with Iran.

And where is Congress? When will Pompeo, Bolton, and Shanahan brief the Group of 8 on Capitol Hill? When will Congress debate a declaration of war?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

This has Israel written all over it. Saudi is to incompetent to carry this out.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

But will the Western Wimps (Western Powers) and other nations of the world allow the US to start another war? Will the same nations get a backbone and start to contain US warmongering? Will the people of the world demand that their government report to them, the voters, and not to Washington.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

The American people don't want war with Iran.

Neither does the President, so you both are on the same page.

And where is Congress? When will Pompeo, Bolton, and Shanahan brief the Group of 8 on Capitol Hill? When will Congress debate a declaration of war?

Probably because there’s no war coming.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

But will the Western Wimps (Western Powers) and other nations of the world allow the US to start another war?

They can’t stop it if it comes to that.

Will the same nations get a backbone and start to contain US warmongering?

In a different alternate universe perhaps.

Will the people of the world demand that their government report to them, the voters, and not to Washington.

What?

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

My guess: It is either Saudi Arabia or Israel trying to get the US to fight their war.

Why would those nations attack a Japanese ship? They love Japan. Japan has great relations with all middle East Nations, and stays out of religious conflict the Western Nations get involved in.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Ships carrying stuff for Japan while Abe is in the area (Iran). Who is trying to tell us what?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I believe attacks are common there and just not reported. No direct link with Abe’s visit.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

We know none of the big players did this so it’s some small 12 monkeys group or some clandestine operation by one of the many, and probably untraceable to the real puppet masters. The tanker was empty so at least they care about the environment.

Never thought I’d see the day when Israel and Saudi Arabia are good buddies.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Please keep in mind that a rouge Middle Eastern country, itching to involve the United States of America in a war with Iran, is probably involved.

That particular country fed the George W (Weapons of Mass Deception) Bush Administration, which prompted the mindless war of choice on Iraq.

Disinformation and misinformation is a tool used successful, especially now that the current occupant of the White House encourages such behavior.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

LOL at all the conspiracy theorists here. If the Saudis was involved, they could have done it whike it's still at their port.

Iran is sending a message to Trump via Abe - 'if we can't sell our oil, neither can the Saudis'.

War with Iran is no longer out of the question.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Oil tankers hit in fresh 'torpedo attack' in Gulf of Oman amid Iran tensions 

Iran does not have torpedoes in the sea of Oman, they operate only in the Persian Gulf.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/06/13/oil-tankers-hit-fresh-attack-gulf-oman/

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Here's a link with details and pics showing one of the ships ablaze. According to the story they were hit by "torpedo-like projectiles".

At the very least, the US military will use the attack as an excuse to continue its escalation of personnel in one of the most sensitive waterways for the global oil trade. According to the EIA, 19% of all oil traded by sea passes through the Strait of Hormuz.

Worst case, it looks like NSA John Bolton may have just gotten the excuse he needs to justify a full-scale invasion of Iran, which we imagine will soon be confirmed as being behind the attacks.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-06-13/2-tankers-damaged-after-suspected-torpedo-attack-near-strait-hormuz-oil-soars

Who knows what's going on but it brings to mind the attack on the USS Liberty and other false flags.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Why would Iran seek to embarrass Abe’s visit by attacking Japanese owned tankers?

It does not make any sense at all.

This attack seems extremely suspect

4 ( +5 / -1 )

From the link that CrazyJoe pasted above:

May 5: John Bolton, the White House national security adviser and a longtime Iran hawk, announces the deployment of the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and a bomber task force in response to "a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings," without providing details. He threatens "unrelenting force" in response to any attack.

I checked the age of the Abraham Lincoln and it's now 30 yrs old, commissioned 11/11/1989. I don't know how many years these ships are at sea before they are decommissioned, but with modern hypersonic weapons and radar jamming etc that ship would be a sitting duck in any conflict. Won't say any more other than I would not like to be a sailor on board any of those ships with what's going on at the moment. I hope this blows over and they return home safely.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

False flag attack i bet..

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

One tanker is Japanese owned the other Norwegian.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Iran does not have torpedoes in the sea of Oman, they operate only in the Persian Gulf.

Right. Because torpedoes aren't mounted on vehicles that can, you know, move to other locations or anything like that...

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/06/13/oil-tankers-hit-fresh-attack-gulf-oman/

That's an interesting article you linked showing the Iranians lying about rescuing the 21 sailors... And somehow you claim the US are the bad guys.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I checked the age of the Abraham Lincoln and it's now 30 yrs old, commissioned 11/11/1989. I don't know how many years these ships are at sea before they are decommissioned, but with modern hypersonic weapons and radar jamming etc that ship would be a sitting duck in any conflict.

So you realize that military weapons receive numerous upgrades during their lifespan right? They don't just spend 5 billion dollars on a ship and wash their hands of it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I can be the foolish guy in this world but the Japanese Tanker vessel to be attacked from Iran I can be the smartest, that's really a hoax...A perfect BS!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

kurisupisu - Why would Iran seek to embarrass Abe’s visit by attacking Japanese owned tankers?

It does not make any sense at all.

It's possible that some extremist group/sociopaths, or the Iranian military, or the Iranian government, decided to send a message to Japan. Maybe they don't like the idea of some other nation trying to negotiate a deal between the U.S. and Iran.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

gokai_wo_manekuJune 13 10:28 pm JST

Ships carrying stuff for Japan while Abe is in the area (Iran). Who is trying to tell us what?

kurisupisuJune 13 11:32 pm JST

Why would Iran seek to embarrass Abe’s visit by attacking Japanese owned tankers?

The only ones to profit from such attacks would be those who hate Iran.

Sh1mon M4sadaJune 13 10:54 pm JST

LOL at all the conspiracy theorists here. If the Saudis was involved, they could have done it while it's still at their port.

It is possible that explosives were placed on the ships in the port and detonated while they were in the straights.

The ones who caused the explosions will not admit their involvement and anything else is speculation without confirmable evidence.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It is possible that explosives were placed on the ships in the port and detonated while they were in the straights.

Why are you ignoring the fact it makes no sense for the Saudis to sabotage their own shipment? They could achieve smoke and mirrors without damaging the security of their own oil sales, they are not subjected to any sanctions.

In addition to above, USA has issued a statement confirming Iran's involvement.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

It is possible that explosives were placed on the ships in the port and detonated while they were in the straights.

This is the real world, not a Tom Clancy novel. Nonsense like this doesn't actually happen.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

I checked the age of the Abraham Lincoln and it's now 30 yrs old, commissioned 11/11/1989. I don't know how many years these ships are at sea before they are decommissioned, but with modern hypersonic weapons and radar jamming etc that ship would be a sitting duck in any conflict.

So you realize that military weapons receive numerous upgrades during their lifespan right? They don't just spend 5 billion dollars on a ship and wash their hands of it.

Yes I realise that. But regardless of how modern its overhaul and upgrades they've parked this ship just off the coast of Iran in a gulf that is so narrow it would be trapped and the first to go in any war. It would be like shooting fish in a pond. My point, or question really, is why would the US government do this? Is the Abraham Lincoln there just to intimidate and to protect? Or could it also be there to trigger a full scale war if it's sunk? With people like John Bolton behind its deployment it's hard to know.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yes I realise that.

Then why was your entire comment about how old and outdated the carrier was?

Is the Abraham Lincoln there just to intimidate and to protect?

Uh, well yeah, that's pretty much why we park an aircraft carrier anywhere...

Or could it also be there to trigger a full scale war if it's sunk?

Ooooh I see the conspiracy wheels turning now. Look at it this way. It's like a condom. Better to have one and not need it then the other way around. The carrier is not there to start a war, it's there to prevent one.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The carrier is not there to start a war, it's there to prevent one.

Like all the other wars that the US govt has prevented since WW2?

My beef is not with the military people on deployment, I'm sure they think they're doing the right thing. I'm pointing out that there are certain individuals within governments and other entities who have been aggressively pushing for war and turmoil to bring about change to suit their own agenda. It's no secret. They've been chomping at the bit to ramp up things with Iran for a long time. Here's one example.

Gen Wesley Clark Reveals US Plan To Invade Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Lybia, Somalia, Sudan, And Iran

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8YtF76s-yM

If you do a search on 'war with iran bolton' you will get similar results.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The US and Israel in cahoots on this one I reckon.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is easy to resolve. The US has close up images of a boat extracting mines from a tanker, purportedly an Iranian boat.... so due to such high definition imagery and US surveillance drones ability to loiter for many hours over a target the full path of the boat will have been tracked all the way back to it's base..... ooops... That means its point of origin and final destination could be verified with support crew movements on land.....

So why are we not being rushed that confirmatory footage of an Iranian base of operations?

How all Iran's enemies would be rushing to publicise that verification far and wide.... instead we just have a boat with guys on it, who could be from any nation. Nations who are suggesting Iran is just itching to have itself be bombed into oblivion. The US has surrounding Iran with mighty military forces and Bolton desperate to return it to the stone age. If you were swimming in open sea and surrounded by circling great white sharks that would be the perfect time to start chumming the water no?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As an Iranian I think we've never ever been in need of peace and stability as we are nowadays. Our politicians are wise enough to avoid such destabilizing actions. This is our enemies trick and deception to get us into a war. But we never do.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They've been chomping at the bit to ramp up things with Iran for a long time.

But conversely, the detractors are not happy either way whether conflict breaks out with Iran or when sanctions are raised against Iran (ie sanctions in lieu of war).

It seems to me like there's just no pleasing some people. You give them a bucket of gold, and they'll say it's to heavy to carry.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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