Trump Seeks to Create an "Arab NATO' to Bash Iran"

Trump Seeks to Create an

Trump Seeks to Create an "Arab NATO' to Bash Iran"

Saudi Arabia has suspended oil shipments through the Bab al-Mandeb Strait pending an assessment of the security situation in the area.

Concerns have been growing for days as Iranian officials have increased verbal threats against shipping in the Persian Gulf and through the choke point at the Strait of Hormuz.

Khalid al-Falih, the Saudi energy minister said in a statement that the two oil tankers, each carrying two million barrels of oil, had been attacked and one sustained minimal damage.

Saudi Aramco said to avoid the risk of a spill or harm to crews, the company has 'halted all oil shipments through Bab El-Mandeb Strait with immediate effect'.

Oil prices were essentially flat early on Friday morning in quiet trade, but were on track for their first weekly gain in four weeks as tension around a key Middle Eastern chokepoint lent support to the price of oil earlier this week.

"It will cause a 15-day delay in oil shipments as they have to re-route through south of the African continent", Harami told the AFP news agency.

The chairman of the Kuwait Oil Tanker Company said the country was considering whether to follow suit.

On Thursday, Major-General Qassem Soleimani, who heads the Quds Force of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, warned Trump, "We are near you, where you can't even imagine".

"The Red Sea is a very important shipping lane".

U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally left the 2015 nuclear deal on May 8 and announced the reinstitution of sanctions against Iran.

The United States would play an organizing and supporting role while staying outside the anti-Iran alliance, the reports added.

Pro-government forces backed up by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia have paused their offensive on Hodeida port in a bid to give UN-led peace efforts a chance.

Regarding the Iranian threat to close the Strait of Hormuz if the United States undermines Tehran's oil sales, he said that the U.S. violated global law through its unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal and it has to bear the consequences.

Saudi state media reported shortly after Falih's announcement that the kingdom's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman chaired a meeting of the Political and Security Affairs Council but did not mention what topics were discussed.

The plan to forge what officials in the White House and Middle East have called an "Arab NATO" of Sunni Muslim allies will likely raise tensions between the United States and Shiite Iran.

Saudi Arabia accuses regional arch-foe Iran of supplying missiles to the Houthis, something Tehran and the Houthis deny.

"The targeted attack on the Saudi oil tankers in the Red Sea confirms the necessity to liberate Hodeida from Houthi militias", said Gargash, whose country is part of the Saudi-led coalition.

Earlier this month, the alliance called a halt to the offensive in order to give United Nations efforts to reach a political solution a chance.

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