Russia condemns attack on oil tankers in Gulf of Oman

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Russia condemns attack on oil tankers in Gulf of Oman

Moscow: The Russian Foreign Ministry has condemned the attack against two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and called for refraining from making hasty accusations.

“We strongly condemn the attacks that occurred, whoever was behind their organization,” the Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

“We consider it necessary to refrain from hasty conclusions. Blaming anyone for involvement in these incidents before the completion of a thorough and impartial international investigation is unacceptable,” it was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.

The Ministry expressed its concern over the tension in the Gulf of Oman and over the evidence of the US “artificially whipping them up” due to its “Iranian-phobia” policy.

It reiterated that it saw no alternative to establishing a dialogue in order to prevent further degradation of the situation in the region, the report said.

On Thursday, two oil tankers — Front Altair, owned by shipping company Frontline Ltd. that is controlled by Norwegian-born magnate John Fredriksen, and the Panamanian-flagged Kokuka Courageous — were reportedly hit by unknown attackers in the Gulf of Oman.

The crew of the tankers of 44, including 11 Russian nationals, were transferred to the Iranian port city of Jask.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the attack.

“This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication,” Pompeo said, according to an official transcript.