In late May, off the UAE's eastern coast, two tankers were attacked with limpet mines
or similar devices, followed by similar incidents against four other tankers, while Iranian forces have attempted to take other vessels sailing in internationally recognised waterways and seized two other ships.
In the past few months there has been a catalog of Iranian aggression aimed at commercial shipping; from limpet mines
to 18th-century style piracy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy has been busy.
It said shipping associations were urging merchant shipping companies to avoid using private armed security personnel in critical areas, including the Strait of Hormuz, although some companies were using security firms to consult on a range of issues, from advising ship captains to monitoring vessels above the waterline - where explosives such as limpet mines
may be placed.
Saudi civilian airfields, oil pipelines, and petroleum pumping stations are being targeted every few days by the Houthis from Yemen with Iranian-provided drones and missiles; six ships on two different occasions have been sabotaged with limpet mines
south of the Strait of Hormuz; bases in Iraq where American forces are located have been hit by rockets fired by Shia militias armed and trained by the Iranians; Israeli security officials tell me that Islamic jihad--likewise supported by Iran--is trying hard to provoke a conflict with Israel in Gaza; and, of course, an American drone was shot down by the Iranians.
has accused Iran of two attacks in the vicinity of the Persian Gulf, in which magnetic limpet mines
exploded against the hulls of foreign tankers in May and June.
Three agents on a yacht brought the limpet mines
- a naval mine attached to a target by magnets - to two more agents, who were posing as a newlywed couple and they delivered them to divers Jean Camas and Jean-Luc Kister.
Iran has also been highlighting other defense capabilities recently, including precision ballistic missiles, rockets, drones, submarines, limpet mines
, and cruise missiles.
Worryingly, the Gulf of Oman attack came only shortly after Iranian forces were implicated in using limpet mines
in the attack on four tankers last month, offshore the Emirati port of Fujairah, a major bunker port for European-Asian marine traffic.
The attacks have all reportedly been carried out using limpet mines
, which cling to ships' hulls by magnetic force but have to be placed by hand.
Washington, June 19, 2019, SPA--The limpet mines
used to attack a Japanese-owned oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz last week bore "a striking resemblance" to similar mines seen in Iran, a U.S.
Navy exhibited pieces of limpet mines
and a magnet it said its personnel extracted from one of two oil tankers attacked in the Gulf of Oman near the strait of Hormuz last week.
Displaying the fragments of limpet mines
that the US Navy said had been used to attack the Japanese-owned 'Kokuka Courageous' tanker, near the UAE port of Fujairah today, Comander Sean Kido from the Naval Forces Central Command said that the devices bore a "striking resemblance" to the Iranian ones, The New York Post reported.