UAE minister blames Iran for heightened tensions in the region 

UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash gives a press conference in Dubai on May 15, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 17 May 2019

UAE minister blames Iran for heightened tensions in the region 

  • Anwar Gargash says attack on oil tankers a 'very serious incident because it affects maritime commerce'
  • 'Iranian behaviour over the last decade or two has led us to where we are today'

LONDON: Iranian behavior has led to the current heightened tensions in the region, a UAE minister has said, reiterating comments made earlier this week. 

In an interview with CNN aired Thursday, Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said a sabotage attack against four oil tankers off the Emirates’ coast had come at a “sensitive and difficult period in the region.”

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“We are where we are largely because of Iran behaviour,” Gargash said. “This is a behaviour that is not new to the region. This is a behaviour that has been basically compiling and clearly right now that – American sanctions on Iran are biting.”

The attacks on the tankers came amid escalating rhetoric between the US and it Gulf allies on one side and Iran on the other. The US has deployed an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Gulf in response to an unspecified Iranian threat.

Saudi Arabia said Iran-backed Houthi rebels on Tuesday attacked an oil pipeline in the Kingdom with drones.

The investigations into the tanker attack were on going, Gargash said, adding that in a few days “we should know what took place.”

“We are collaborating with France, and the United States, and other friends are also offering their help,” he said. “Clearly this is a very, very serious incident because it affects maritime commerce, and it comes also at a very very, what I would call a very sensitive and difficult period in the region.”

The minister said all parties have an interest in deescalating the situation and “dealing with things in a mature, rational way.”

But he added the onus was on Iran, not Washington, to deescalate the situation.

“Iranian behaviour over the last decade or two has led us to where we are today,” he said. “There’s very little trust in the region.”


Karachi pull off 10-run win against Peshawar

Updated 7 min 48 sec ago

Karachi pull off 10-run win against Peshawar

KARACHI: Karachi Kings pulled off a 10-run victory over former champion Peshawar Zalmi in a high-scoring opening match of the Pakistan Super League.

Liam Livingstone’s unbeaten 54-run knock off 29 balls went in vain as Peshawar finished 191-7 in pursuit of a daunting target of
202 runs.

Livingstone hit three sixes and two fours and kept the 2017 champions in the hunt when he added 62 runs off 31 balls with captain Darren Sammy, who finally fell for 30 off 20 balls in the last over.

With Peshawar needing 16 runs off the final six deliveries, fast bowler Umaid Asif (2-23) took a splendid catch off his own bowling as Sammy miscued a pull shot and the tall fast bowler ran backwards to pluck a brilliant diving catch at short midwicket.

“Umaid Asif bowled an outstanding last over and that helped us clinch the game,” Karachi Kings batsman Babar Azam said.

Umaid was a standout bowler in the high-scoring match but Chris Jordan (2-39) had provided the early breakthrough when he trapped Tom Banton (13) leg before wicket and then clean bowled Pakistan under-19 batsman Haider Ali (2) in his second over.

Earlier, after being put in to bat, Karachi’s emphatic total of 201-4 revolved around half centuries by No. 1-ranked Twenty20 batsman Babar and captain Imad Wasim.

Babar hammered seven boundaries and two sixes in scoring 78 off 56 balls while Imad made 50 off 30 deliveries as both batsmen shared a 97-run third wicket stand off only 55 balls.

Babar was dropped on 72 when Shoaib Malik spilled an easy catch in the deep before Pakistan’s Twenty20 captain was run out in the 18th over while attempting a second run.

Opening batsman Sharjeel Khan could score only 19 in his comeback match after the lefthander was banned for spot-fixing during the 2017 PSL in the United Arab Emirates.

Pakistan international Hasan Ali also looked rusty on his return from a back injury.

Sharjeel pulled two sixes off Hasan early in the innings and the fast bowler conceded 52 runs off his four overs for the wickets of Sharjeel and Imad.

Pakistan international Iftikhar Ahmed (16 not out) lifted Karachi’s total beyond the 200-run mark when he smashed two sixes and a four off Hasan’s last three deliveries as the fast bowler went for 21 runs in the last over of the innings.

Later Friday, Lahore Qalandars were to meet Multan Sultan at Qaddafi Stadium, which will be hosting 14 PSL matches as Pakistan’s premier domestic Twenty20 tournament has returned home in its entirety after four years.