14 June 2019


  • Tanker attacks show Gulf shipping will face increased risk as Iranian hardliners seek to respond to US economic pressures
  • US will bolster naval presence in response to attacks, increasing risk of accidental escalation
  • Iran will seek to carry out further attacks calculated to maximise disruption and damage but will avoid precipitating direct conflict with US


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran on 14 June of bombing two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. The vessels, the Norwegian-owned Front Altair and Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous, were left adrift and on fire on 13 June following explosions that were reportedly caused by limpet mines attached strategically along their hulls. No injuries were reported, and the crew of both vessels were subsequently rescued. Although the US has not produced…

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