WTI crude hits $63 on after Saudi oil tankers sabotaged

The USS Abraham Lincoln in the waters of Western Pacific Ocean in 2004. The ship is now heading to the Middle East

The U.S. Maritime Administration said in an advisory on Sunday the incidents off Fujairah, one of the seven emirates that make up the UAE, have not been confirmed and urged caution.

Trump's warning comes shortly after the US moved military assets to combat what the Defense and State Departments describe as credible threats against American interests.

A spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry also warned about a "conspiracy orchestrated by ill-wishers" and "adventurism by foreigners" meant to undermine regional stability.

The Strait of Hormuz is the only sea passage from Persian Gulf to Arabian Sea.

-The Strait is 21 miles (33 km) wide at its narrowest point, but the shipping lane is just two miles (three km) wide in either direction. That was about 30% of crude and other oil liquids traded by sea in 2016. Roughly 30 percent of the global seaborne crude oil trade passes through the Strait, as well as a third of the global LNG trade, with exports coming from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE and Qatar.

A senior Iranian lawmaker said that the explosions near Fujairah port showed that the security of Gulf states is fragile, Reuters reported.

It also comes as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is headed to Brussels to discuss Iran with French, British and German officials.

The increasing tensions come as Teheran said last Wednesday (May 8) it had stopped respecting limits on its nuclear activities agreed under a 2015 deal with major powers. Washington pulled out of the pact in 2018.

The narrow waterway forms a crucial link between the vast oil reserves of the Gulf states and the energy-hungry markets of Asia, and there are nearly no alternate throughways.

- In early 2008, the United States said Iranian boats threatened its warships after they approached three U.S. naval ships in the Strait. It said the incident did not result in oil spills.

As of yet, no one has claimed responsibility.

- In January 2012, Iran threatened to block the Strait in retaliation for the USA and European sanctions that targeted its oil revenues in an attempt to stop Tehran's nuclear programme.

President Donald Trump did not dismiss the potential for a war between the United States and Iran Monday amid soaring tensions escalated by reports of recent, unclaimed attacks against commercial tankers near the world's busiest oil chokepoint. "If they do anything, it will be a very bad mistake", Trump told reporters at the White House. The presence of a United States warship in the Bab al Mandab, the arrival of B-52H Stratofortress bombers at Qatar's Al Udeid Air Base, the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group's deployment to the Persian Gulf, new economic sanctions on Iran, the USA embassy in Iraq issuing a warning, and Washington's terrorist designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have collectively contributed to this extremely tense situation.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.



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