President Donald Trump has blamed Iran for attacks on oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, but he also held out hope that implicit US threats to use force will yield talks with the Islamic Republic as the Pentagon
Saudi Arabia’s cabinet urged world powers on Tuesday for firm measures to secure shipping lanes across the region, state media reported, after last week’s twin attacks on tankers that escalated regional tensions.
The vessel was impounded with its 23 crew members aboard at the port of Bandar Abbas after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps seized it in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday.
Britain on Saturday denounced Iran's seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf as a "hostile act" and rejected Tehran's explanation that it seized the vessel because it had been involved in an accident.
Two damaged tankers arrived safely on Sunday at locations off the Emirati coast after they were rocked by explosions in Gulf waters, in an incident Saudi Arabia blamed on its regional arch-rival Iran.
The US Navy reiterated on Wednesday that a limpet mine was responsible for the explosion on the vessel Kokuka Courageous, one of two tankers that came under suspected attack in the Gulf of Oman on June 13.
"Crewmembers of vessels assisting the IRGC (Revolutionary Guard Corps) by transporting oil from Iran may be ineligible for visas or admission to the United States under the terrorism-related inadmissibility grounds," Ortagus said.
Five people including four firefighters were injured, an emergency services spokesperson said. Amateur footage aired on state television's website showed black smoke billowing into the sky above people appearing to panic as firefighters move in. But the governor denied there was an explosion.