Tag: Persian Gulf

Saudi Arabia and Iran Make Quiet Openings to Head Off War

After years of growing hostility and competition for influence, Saudi Arabia and Iran have taken steps toward indirect talks to try to reduce the tensions that have brought the Middle East to the brink of war, according to officials from several countries involved in the efforts. Even the prospect of such talks represents a remarkable […]

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Iran Might Be America’s Enemy, but Saudi Arabia Is No Friend

In 1987, an Iraqi warplane attacked an American Navy frigate, the Stark, on patrol in the Persian Gulf. Accepting Saddam Hussein’s explanation that the attack, which killed 37 sailors, had been an accident, American officials promptly used the incident, which came at the height of the Iran-Iraq war, to ratchet up pressure on Tehran. The […]

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Blackface, Staple of Arab Comedy, Faces Surge of Criticism

CAIRO — On the Libyan comedy show, the punch line was in the baby carriage. An elevator door slams shut, separating the mother — an actress in blackface — from her babies. A hidden camera shows unsuspecting passengers trapped inside with the baby carriage. “Watch my babies!” the mother calls out in mock horror. But […]

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U.S. Applies to Seize Iranian Tanker Held in Gibraltar

LONDON — The United States has applied to seize the Iranian oil tanker being held at Gibraltar, the government of the British territory revealed on Thursday, just as the authorities there were considering whether to release the ship they detained more than a month ago. The American action is the latest in a series of […]

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U.S. Sanctions Turn Iran’s Oil Industry Into Spy vs. Spy

They change offices every few months and store documents only in hard copy. They scan their businesses for covert listening devices and divert all office calls to their cellphones. They know they are under surveillance, and assume their electronics are hacked. They are not spies or jewel thieves but Iran’s oil traders, and they are […]

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Iran Seizes Oil Tanker in Persian Gulf

Iran has seized a foreign oil tanker in the Persian Gulf that was smuggling fuel to some Arab states, according to a state television report on Sunday. The report said that the tanker had been detained and the ship’s foreign crew held by the country’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. No further details were provided, […]

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Wary of Trump’s Hard Line on Iran, Europeans Decline to Join Escorts in Gulf

BRUSSELS — With tensions rising with Iran, the United States and Britain have been shopping for European support to bolster patrols in the Persian Gulf around the Strait of Hormuz, a vital passage way for global oil supplies. But so far the American requests for help to escort shipping in the Gulf have been met […]

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Federal Inquiry of Trump Friend Focused on Foreign Lobbying

WASHINGTON — As Donald J. Trump was preparing to deliver an address on energy policy in May 2016, Paul Manafort, his campaign chairman, had a question about the speech’s contents for Thomas J. Barrack Jr., a top campaign fund-raiser and close friend of Mr. Trump. “Are you running this by our friends?” Mr. Manafort asked […]

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Suggesting a Tanker Swap, Iran Hints at a Compromise

LONDON — President Hassan Rouhani of Iran suggested Wednesday that his country might release a British-flagged tanker in exchange for the return of an Iranian ship seized by the British military off the coast of Gibraltar. Iranian officials had previously implied such an offer might be forthcoming, describing the capture of the British tanker as […]

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Iran Claims to Have Arrested and Executed U.S. Spies

LONDON — Iran said on Monday that it had arrested 17 Iranian citizens on charges of spying for the United States and had already executed some of them, Iranian and Western news media reported. At a news conference in Tehran, an official who identified himself as a director of counterespionage in the Intelligence Ministry described […]

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‘If You Obey, You Will Be Safe’: Audio Emerges of Iran and U.K. Exchanges Before Tanker Is Seized

LONDON — A British warship tried without success to stop Iran’s seizure on Friday of an oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz, an audio recording of the episode released on Sunday shows, underscoring the perils to Persian Gulf shipping and the global economy during escalating tensions between Iran and the West. “If you obey, […]

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U.K. Warns Tankers to Stay Out of Strait of Hormuz After Iran Seizes Ship

LONDON — Britain on Saturday warned ships to stay out of the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial shipping route for the world’s oil supplies, as the government pressed Iran to release a British-owned oil tanker seized the previous evening, dramatically escalating tensions in the region. “We have advised U.K. shipping to stay out of the […]

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Iran Said to Seize British Tanker in Persian Gulf

LONDON — Iran said Friday that it had seized a British oil tanker in the Persian Gulf, and the tanker’s owner said it had lost contact with the vessel as it appeared to be heading toward Iran. The British government said it was urgently seeking information about the incident. The possible seizure of the ship, […]

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Iran Denies That U.S. Downed Its Drone in Strait of Hormuz

Iranian officials on Friday denied reports that the American military had downed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz, a day after President Trump and Pentagon officials first made that claim. A spokesman for the Iranian Armed Forces, in rejecting Mr. Trump’s assertion, also said that the “unfounded claim” had been intended to increase […]

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Iran Says It Seized Foreign Oil Tanker, Escalating Regional Tensions

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps of Iran seized a foreign oil tanker, Iranian news media reported on Thursday, days after a United Arab Emirates tanker disappeared, raising the stakes in the running conflict that has pitted Iran against some of its Persian Gulf neighbors and the United States. Several state news organizations in Iran reported […]

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Iran Says It Aided Foreign Tanker, Amid Reports of Missing U.A.E. Ship

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has said that security forces recently came to the aid of a foreign oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, hours after reports that Iran might have seized a tanker from the United Arab Emirates in the area. Abbas Mousavi, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, said that Iranian forces had rushed to […]

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Iranian Boats Tried to Block British Tanker in Persian Gulf, U.K. Says

LONDON — A British warship forced three Iranian boats to back off after they sought to block a British tanker from passing through the Strait of Hormuz, the Defense Ministry said on Thursday, in the latest escalation of tensions between Tehran and the West. “Contrary to international law, three Iranian vessels attempted to impede the […]

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3 Iranian Boats Tried to Block British Tanker in Persian Gulf, U.K. Says

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Three Iranian vessels unsuccessfully tried to impede the passage of a British commercial vessel through the Strait of Hormuz, Britain said Thursday, signaling a further escalation of tensions over a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. The Iranian vessels only turned away after receiving “verbal warnings” from a […]

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Mossad Chief Bluntly Blames Iran for Tanker Attacks

HERZLIYA, Israel — The head of Israel’s intelligence service said flatly on Monday that Iran was directly responsible for the repeated attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, along with other targets in Saudi Arabia and Iraq, that have raised tensions in the Middle East. “They are a single campaign initiated by a single […]

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Will Trump’s Plans to Counter Iran Bring a Return of the ‘Tanker War’?

WASHINGTON — President Trump is pressing allies to join the United States in creating a fleet of warships to protect commercial oil tankers from attack by Iran in the Persian Gulf and nearby waters, despite alarm from some within the Pentagon that the mission could escalate into the kind of direct confrontation Mr. Trump is […]

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Trump Imposes New Economic Sanctions on Iran

WASHINGTON — President Trump announced on Monday that he is imposing new sanctions on Iran, after saying for days that he preferred tightening the pressure on a crippled Iranian economy to launching an immediate military strike in retaliation for what American officials have said are recent aggressive acts by Tehran. “We will continue to increase […]

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