Russia Warns US against ‘Hasty Conclusions’ About Tanker Incidents in Sea Of Oman, Calls for Investigation
By Staff, Agencies
Russia warned against jumping to conclusions about a Thursday incident involving two oil tankers in the Sea of Oman, which the United States claimed were attacks carried out by Iran.
“We consider it necessary to refrain from hasty conclusions,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.
Two large tankers were hit by explosions in the Sea of Oman — also called the Gulf of Oman — on Thursday. The tankers were identified as the Marshal Islands-flagged Front Altair and the Panama-flagged Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous.
Shortly after the two vessels sent out distress signals, an Iranian rescue ship rushed to their help and picked up all of the crew.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo quickly blamed Iran. US President Donald Trump did the same on Friday. They claimed the ships hit a mine planted by Iran. This is while the Japanese operator of one of the tankers said it had been hit by “a flying object,” disputing the US account at least partially.
The Russian Foreign Ministry called for a thorough international investigation.
“We are concerned by tensions in the Gulf of Oman,” it said, urging all parties to show restraint.
Iran strongly rejected the US allegation, calling the incident “suspicious.”
Meanwhile, Moscow thanked Iran for rescuing the 11 Russian crew members from one of the tankers.
Nobody wants war after tanker attacks, China says
China's foreign ministry has also called on all sides to exercise restraint following attacks on the oil tankers, urging dialogue to resolve differences.
Beijing was deeply concerned about the rising tension, said foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang.
"Nobody wants to see war in the Gulf. That is not in anyone's interest," he told a regular news briefing in Beijing, adding that China hoped all sides could resolve differences via dialogue.
"We hope all relevant parties remain calm and exercise restraint and avoid tensions further escalating, and hope all sides can jointly safeguard navigational safety in the relevant waters and regional peace and stability."
China would continue to safeguard its energy security and the lawful rights of its companies, he added.