Baghdad: – A plot to plant a mine on an oil tanker, in the Persian Gulf, and to blow it, was busted. After two days of efforts, the Iraqi Navy successfully dismantled the mine and rescued the sailors. This development once again poses questions regarding the safety of the oil tanker movement in the Persian Gulf. Since the last few weeks, the military activities are already on the rise in this sector because of the tension prevailing between the United States and Iran.
A limpet mine was planted on the main section of MT Pola, a Liberian oil tanker, anchored about 52 kilometres from the Iraq coast in international waters. The sailors on the tanker noticed this while transferring oil from the tanker to an Iraqi oil tanker. The concerned sailors pointed out this threat to the captain. A major threat had been created in the Persian Gulf with this mine planted on an oil tanker.
The movement of the tanker, due to the waves, could have triggered the explosion of the mine, and this would have been a disaster. At the same time, there would be a massive oil spill in the Persian Gulf. The Iraq military immediately rescued the sailors with helicopters. After that, The Iraqi Navy dismantled the mine on Saturday evening. The Iraqi security agencies gave this information. It is tough to plant a mine on the main section of an oil tanker. The special forces of the Navy generally have this kind of skill. Therefore, there is a possibility that the Navy of some country or terrorists specially trained in this may have planted the mine on MT Pola. No terrorist organisation has accepted the responsibility of the plot.
Since the last few months, there is a rise in the attacks and hijacking of the oil tankers in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea sectors. There had been a terror attack on an oil tanker docked in the Jeddah port of Saudi Arabia. It was suspected that the Houthi rebels from Yemen were responsible for this attack. Whereas, before that, Iran had hijacked an oil tanker from the Persian Gulf. Last year, there were incidences of terror attacks on the oil tankers docked in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Saudi Arabia and UAE had accused that Iran was responsible for these attacks.
Whereas, in November, Iran, infuriated by the assassination of nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, had threatened to teach a lesson to the United States and its allies. While issuing this threat, Iran has increased its deployment in the Strait of Hormuz. Following the Iranian threat, the United States despatched its nuclear submarine and warships to the Persian Gulf. Simultaneously, the United States has deployed a minimum of six B-52 bombers in the Gulf region. The United States clarified that this deployment is for the security of the allies in the sector.