UN chief calls for independent inquiry to determine truth over tanker incidents

UN chief calls for independent inquiry to determine truth over tanker incidents
The UN wants to find out the truth over this week's Gulf of Oman tanker incidents.
2 min read
15 June, 2019
Antonio Guterres has called for an inquiry into the tanker incidents [Getty]

The UN on Friday called for an independent investigation to determine those responsible for attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf region, which have sparked fears of an all-out war between Iran and the UN

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that that an independent entity verify the facts surrounding the recent spate of attacks, which the US and UK have blamed on Iran, but which Tehran strongly denies.

"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.

The most recent attack took place on Thursday when two tankers suffered severe damage after being reportedly hit by explosions. Another reported attack took place, when four ships reported damage, in or near to Fujairah port.

Guterres could ask the Security Council to establish a team to look into the incidents in the Gulf of Oman and near Fujairah.

The UN's political chief, Rosemary DiCarlo, discussed the Gulf crisis with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meeting in Bishkek, the UN spokesman said.

Zarif and the rest of the Iranian political leadership have strongly denied Tehran was involved at all.

Washington still insists Iran carried out the attacks and on Friday released footage that purports to show the crew of an Iranian patrol boat removing an object from the hull of the Japanese tanker.

Guterres met with Arab League Chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit, on Friday who warned Iran to "be careful, reverse course, because you are pushing everybody towards a confrontation where no one will be safe".