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UN Chief Calls for Independent Probe in Oil Tanker Attacks

UN Chief Calls for Independent Probe in Oil Tanker Attacks

Friday, 14 June, 2019 - 18:30
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Friday for investigation into oil tanker attacks in the Gulf region.

"It's very important to know the truth. It's very important that responsibilities are clarified," Guterres told reporters.

"Obviously that can only be done if there is an independent entity that verifies those facts," he said.

Guterres however said that he did not have the authority to establish such an inquiry, adding that this was the purview of the Security Council.

The United States and Britain accused Iran of carrying out the attacks.

UN political affairs chief Rosemary DiCarlo met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Council meeting in Kyrgyzstan, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

He added that Guterres and his staff had been in contact with many of the countries concerned to tell them of the need to avoid any escalation.

The Japanese- and Norwegian-owned oil tankers were struck by explosions in the early daylight hours Thursday after passing through the Strait of Hormuz some 25 nautical miles off Iran's southern coast.

The US Central Command has released footage that shows the crew of an Iranian patrol boat removing an object from the hull of the Japanese tanker.

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