US Navy searching for missing sailor in Arabian Sea

US aircrafts are seen on the deck of USS Abraham Lincoln in the Gulf of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz July 15, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 18 July 2019

US Navy searching for missing sailor in Arabian Sea

  • A Spanish and a Pakistani navy ship are assisting two US navy ships in the search operation
  • Tensions in the Gulf region are currently high, with fears that foes the United States and Iran could stumble into war

DUBAI: The US navy and other ships are conducting search and rescue operations for a missing US sailor in the Arabian Sea, the Bahrain-based US Fifth Fleet said.
"The Sailor has been listed as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown (DUSTWUN) after a reported man overboard incident onboard Abraham Lincoln while operating in the Arabian Sea, July 17," a Fifth Fleet statement said, without giving the sailor's name.
A Spanish and a Pakistani navy ship are assisting two US navy ships in the search operation.
Tensions in the Gulf region are currently high, with fears that foes the United States and Iran could stumble into war.
The United States has blamed Iran for a series of attacks since mid-May on shipping around the Hormuz Strait, the world's most important oil artery, which Tehran rejects.
Tehran has also accused Britain of piracy and warned of repercussions after Royal Marines seized an Iranian tanker off Gibraltar on July 4 on suspicion it was shipping oil to Iran's ally Syria, in breach of EU sanctions.


GCC urges UN to extend Iran arms embargo 

The GCC — flag pictured — i comprised of six Arab Gulf nations: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar. (File/AP)
Updated 09 August 2020

GCC urges UN to extend Iran arms embargo 

  • Letter from head of GCC says an extension is imperative to “ensure and preserve peace” in the Middle East.

RIYADH: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has asked the UN to extend an international arms embargo on Iran.

A letter sent by the GCC’s secretary general, Nayef Al-Hajraf, to the Security Council cites Tehran’s support for terrorism and its hostile actions against neighbouring countries as reasons to back an extension.

The embargo prevents the movement of conventional weaponry in and out of Iran, and is set to expire on Oct. 18 as part of the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal.

The agreement with international powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), provided sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for the regime curtailing its nuclear program.

In the letter, Al-Hajraf, points out that, in violation of the deal, Iran has “continued to proliferate conventional weapons and armed terrorist and sectarian organizations and movements throughout the region.”

It also said Tehran “has not desisted from armed interventions in neighboring countries, directly and through organizations and movements armed and trained by Iran.”

The embargo’s restrictions, the letter states, are “imperative to ensure and preserve peace and stability in this region.”

The US has also been pushing heavily for an extension to the arms embargo, warning that lifting it could have dire consequences.

In June, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cautioned that, if the embargo is terminated, “Iran will be able to purchase advanced weapons systems” and would “become an arms dealer of choice for terrorists and rogue regimes all throughout the world.”

Pompeo added: “This is unacceptable.”

Russia and China, two of the permanent five members of the UN’s Security Council with veto power, want the arms embargo to lift as scheduled on Oct. 18.

Should that happen, the US has warned that it could introduce “snap back” sanctions built into the original 2015 deal, unilaterally restoring all UN sanctions on Tehran.