Gulf of Oman tanker blasts: Crews rescued safely

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Dozens of crew members have been rescued after abandoning two commercial oil tankers hit by explosions in the Gulf of Oman.

Iran said it had rescued the 21 crew members on board the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous and the 23 on the Front Altair, owned by Norway.

The US disputed this, saying its Navy had rescued some of those aboard.

It is unclear what caused the blasts. They come amid heightened tensions between Iran and the US.

A senior Iranian official told the BBC: “Iran has no connection with the incident.”

“Somebody is trying to destabilise relations between Iran and the international community,” the official added.

The incident in one of the world’s busiest oil routes comes a month after four oil tankers were attacked off the United Arab Emirates.

No group or country has claimed responsibility for that incident, which also caused no casualties.

The US at the time blamed Iran – but Tehran denied the accusations.

President Donald Trump tightened America’s sanctions on Iran in May, and the US recently strengthened its forces in the area – saying there was a danger of Iranian attacks.

On Thursday, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei ruled out any negotiations with the US aimed at easing the tensions.

He was quoted as saying during talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that he did not see President Trump as being worthy of any exchange of messages.

Oil prices jumped as much as 4% after Thursday’s incident.

President Donald Trump tightened America’s sanctions on Iran in May, and the US recently strengthened its forces in the area – saying there was a danger of Iranian attacks.

On Thursday, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei ruled out any negotiations with the US aimed at easing the tensions.

He was quoted as saying during talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that he did not see President Trump as being worthy of any exchange of messages.

Oil prices jumped as much as 4% after Thursday’s incident.

Source: citinewsroom.com