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UAE, Saudi and Norway notify UN of attacks on oil tankers

Four commercial cargo ships were subjected to sabotage operations near UAE territorial waters on May 12.

The Permanent Missions of the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Kingdom of Norway on Thursday sent a joint letter to the United Nations Security Council, drawing its attention to the May 12 incident in the UAE territorial waters that targeted four tankers – two Saudi-flagged, one Norwegian-flagged, and one Emirati-flagged vessel.

“These attacks come at a time when responsible stakeholders across the region should work together to lower tensions,” said Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, UAE’s Permanent Representative to the UN in New York. “The UAE is cooperating closely with Saudi Arabia, Norway, France, and the United States to investigate these attacks.”

“It is an act of sabotage that affects the safety of international navigation and the security of world oil supplies,” said Abdallah Al Mouallimi, Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the UN. “Consequently, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia condemns in the strongest terms these terrorist attacks and calls upon the international community to take a firm stand towards those responsible for such provocative and subversive operations.”

While the attacks did not result in any casualties, or spillage of oil or harmful chemicals, they could have caused serious loss of life and an environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Oman.

“We’re glad the crew onboard was unharmed. However, the Norwegian vessel suffered material damages. Norwegian authorities are in the process of assessing the situation in close cooperation with among others the Emirati authorities,” says Norway’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Mona Juul.

Iran behind pipeline attack

The UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Norway also intended to notify the International Maritime Organisation of these attacks and the threat they posed to international shipping. 

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s deputy defence minister on Thursday accused Iran of ordering an attack on Saudi oil pumping stations that Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi militia has claimed responsibility for.

The attack “proves that these militias are merely a tool that Iran’s regime uses to implement its expansionist agenda,” tweeted Prince Khalid bin Salman. “The terrorist acts, ordered by the regime in Tehran, and carried out by the Houthis, are tightening the noose around the ongoing political efforts.”

Other Saudi officials fired off similar tweets.

“The Houthis are an integral part of the Revolutionary Guard forces of Iran and follow their orders, as proven by them targeting installations in the kingdom,” Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al Jubeir tweeted.

The ambassador to Yemen followed up, writing that the Houthis had “made Yemen a platform for Iranian terrorism against Yemenis and their interests, and a tool to attack Saudi Arabia”.


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