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Iran suspected of carrying out hijack off UAE coast as US says too early to reach conclusion

August 03, 2021
The United States said on Tuesday it is aware of reports of
The United States said on Tuesday it is aware of reports of "a maritime incident in the Gulf of Oman," but it is "far too premature" to offer a judgment. — Courtesy photo

WASHINGTON — The United States said on Tuesday it is aware of reports of "a maritime incident in the Gulf of Oman," but it is "far too premature" to offer a judgment.

"We are concerned. We are looking into it. We are coordinating with partners," Ned Prince, the spokesman of the US State Department, told reporters.

He added "it's far too premature for us to render a judgment. These reports are just emerging," reiterating "they are concerning, certainly, at first blush." "We are looking to learn more. We will continue to share information and coordinate with our partners as we do learn more," he remarked.

Meanwhile, Britain's foreign ministry said it was "urgently investigating" an incident on a vessel off the UAE coast, a spokesperson said.

Earlier in the day, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), in a warning notice based on a third-party source, had reported a "potential hijack" and advised ships to exercise extreme caution due to the incident around 60 nautical miles east of the UAE's Fujairah emirate.

At least three ships off the coast of Oman had lost control of their steering under unclear circumstances as UKMTO reported that there's "an incident" underway in the area.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards denied that Iranian forces or allies were involved in action against any ship off the UAE coast, saying the incident was a pretext for "hostile action" against Tehran. — Agencies


August 03, 2021
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