Saudi Arabia says two Saudi oil tankers attacked near UAE waters

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The United States issued a warning early Monday about alleged "acts of sabotage" aimed at ships off the United Arab Emirates coast and last week warned ships that "Iran or its proxies" could be targeting maritime traffic in the region.

Trump's comments came after the United Arab Emirates reported four commercial vessels had been sabotaged on Sunday near Fujairah emirate just outside the Strait of Hormuz. He said "the attack didn't lead to any casualties or oil spill", though he acknowledged it affected "the security of oil supplies to consumers all over the world".

Each ship had a 5-to-10-foot hole in it, near or just below the water line, a US official told The Associated Press. A second has been surrounded by a boom as a precaution to contain any oil leak.

The relationship took a steep dive after Trump pulled the USA out of a landmark 2015 nuclear deal a year ago, accusing Tehran of using sanctions relief to fund militant groups and develop ballistic missile technology.

In a tweet, Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said investigations in the incident were ongoing but that the government had its "own readings and conclusions". India and seven other countries who had got a sanctions waiver from the U.S. for the past six months were refused an extension of the waiver - this meant India had to stop buying Iranian oil including closing down the rupee account that it used to pay for Iranian oil.

The attack caused "significant damage" to the vessels, Al-Falih said.

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"It remains unlikely that the risk to safety of vessels and crew will increase significantly in the short term however delays to commercial operations and the potential for interactions with military/militia forces has increased", the report added.

A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said on Sunday that the USA military presence in the Gulf used to be a serious threat but now represents a target, the Iranian Students News Agency reported.

Iran borders the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. In that specific case of the U.S. sailors, then-Secretary of State John Kerry was able to call Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and secure their release.

The Strait of Hormuz also has a unique ability to scare oil traders.

Shortly after the Saudi announcement, Iran's Foreign Ministry called for further clarification about what exactly happened with the Saudi tankers.

"The global community (needs to) assume its responsibilities to prevent any parties trying to undermine the security and safety of maritime traffic", the ministry said.

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Global crude benchmark Brent for July settlement rose as much as $1.38 on Monday to $72/bbl on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Images that CNN captured of the Norwegian tanker, Andrea Victory, show damage sustained to the hull of the vessel.

A spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry also warned about a "conspiracy orchestrated by ill-wishers" and "adventurism by foreigners" meant to undermine regional stability. Outages in Venezuela, Iran and some "supply disturbances" related to pipeline outages in Nigeria and contamination in Russian oil are holding the physical market "in a tight grip", Schieldrop said.

When Iran was under sanctions in 2012, Saudi Arabia and Iraq had raised market share in Asia.

The UAE asked the U.S.to help investigate the damage, which Gulf officials have characterized as sabotage. Iran has repeatedly threatened to interrupt oil flows through the narrow strait if it is not allowed to export oil, though such threats have consistently proven to be bluster.

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