UAE, Saudi Arabia and Norway notify Security Council of ship sabotage

Iran oil

Iran oil

Iran should be targeted following attacks against Saudi oil infrastructure - first bomb attacks on two Saudi tankers, followed by drone strikes on two pumping stations - the paper said in an English-language editorial.

Meanwhile, Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman wrote on Twitter on Thursday that Tehran had ordered "the terrorist acts" carried out by the Houthis against the oil pipeline.

"These attacks prove again that it is important for us to face terrorist entities, including the Houthi militias in Yemen that are backed by Iran", al-Falih said on Tuesday.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that "extremist individuals" in the US government were pursuing unsafe policies and that Tehran is not seeking confrontation.

A Houthi spokesman, Mohammed Abdul Salam had earlier claimed responsibility for the drone strikes, saying that they were a response to Saudi Arabia's "continued aggression" and "genocide" in Yemen. On Thursday, residents scrambled to pull 14 wounded people from the rubble of a building. Fawaz Ahmed told The Associated Press he saw three bodies - a man, a woman and a child, all buried together. At least 40 other people were wounded, according to Yemen's Health Ministry.

A Saudi-led coalition has been at war with the Houthis since 2015 and carries out near-daily airstrikes.

There was far more clarity about Tuesday's attack on the Saudi East-West pipeline.

Fears have grown out of President Donald Trump's decision previous year to withdraw the United States from the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and world powers and impose wide-reaching sanctions - the latest levied as recently as last week - that have crippled Iran's economy. In response, Iran's supreme leader issued a veiled threat Tuesday, saying it wouldn't be hard for the Islamic Republic to enrich uranium to weapons-grade levels.

Pakistan has been a key ally of the United States in its war on terror since 2001 and it also enjoys good relations with neighboring Iran.

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Despite attempts to calm the rhetoric about a potential conflict, on Wednesday, the US State Department ordered all "non-emergency US government employees" to leave Iraq; German and Dutch armed forces suspended training operations in Iraq.

The movement of diplomatic personnel is often done in times of conflict, but what is driving the decisions from the White House remains unclear. We have also made clear to the Iranians that if American interests are attacked, we will most certainly respond in an appropriate fashion.

Qatar hosts the forward headquarters of the US military's Central Command at its vast Al-Udeid Air Base.

Iran's ambassador to the United Nations says the Islamic Republic is not interested in escalating regional tensions but has the "right to defend ourselves". His comments exposed global skepticism over the USA military buildup. The U.S. pulled out of the deal a year ago, reimposing sanctions that penalize countries and global companies that do business with Iran.

Iran recently said it would resume enriching uranium at higher levels if a new nuclear deal is not reached by 7 July.

The Huthis said the attacks were to avenge Saudi actions in Yemen.

However, he also said the UAE is "very committed to de-escalation" after the alleged sabotage of oil tankers off the country's coast on Sunday.

Some observers speculate Tehran is seeking to retaliate over Washington's decision in April to put Iran's Revolutionary Guards on a terror blacklist - a move created to stymie their activities across the Middle East. Bottom left: The A. Michel tanker, under the flag of the UAE was one of the four tankers damaged in the "sabotage attacks". It did not elaborate.

In terms of next steps, Al Jazeera reported Thursday that the Qatari foreign minister is holding talks in Tehran to attempt to defuse tensions. It cited an anonymous official as saying that Qatar's foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, had travelled to Tehran in recent days to speak with his Iranian counterpart, and that the US was aware of the trip in advance.

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