Oil tanker attacks: Russia warns against blaming Iran
In a news conference in the capital Moscow Thursday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called for normalization with Iran and warned against accusing Tehran of attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.
“We need measures to normalize the situation around Iran, we need to calmly and impartially deal with what happened, not to make hasty conclusions. We strongly condemn the attacks no matter who is behind them… we are concerned by tensions in the Gulf of Oman,” he said.
“Lately we have been seeing a strengthening campaign of political, psychological and military pressure on Iran. We wouldn’t want the events that have just happened, which are tragic and shook the world oil market, to be used speculatively to further aggravate the situation in an anti-Iranian sense,” Ryabkov was quoted as saying.
“I would take the opportunity to warn against hasty conclusions, against attempts to lay the blame at the door of those we don’t like,” Ryabkov added.
Two oil tankers were attacked, leaving one ablaze and both adrift, shipping firms said, driving oil prices as much as 4 percent higher over worries about Middle East supplies.
Crude oil prices spiked more than 4% after the attacks near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial shipping artery for Saudi Arabia and other Gulf energy producers. Prices later settled about 2% higher. Brent crude was down by 0.4% at $61.06 a barrel in early Asia trading.
The attacks were the second in a month near the Strait of Hormuz, a major strategic waterway for world oil supplies.