DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia called for swift action to secure Gulf energy supplies, after the United States blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers in a vital oil shipping route that have raised fears of broader confrontation in the region.
Thursday’s tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman exacerbated the antagonistic fallout from similar blasts in May that crippled four vessels. Washington, already embroiled in a standoff with Iran over its nuclear program, has blamed Tehran.
Iran has denied any role in the strikes on the tankers south of the Strait of Hormuz, a major transit route for oil from Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, and other Gulf producers.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said “there must be a rapid and decisive response to the threat” to energy supplies, market stability and consumer confidence after the attacks in the Gulf area, the Saudi Energy Ministry reported on Twitter.