Two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz were reportedly attacked on Thursday, an assault that left one ablaze and adrift as sailors were evacuated from both vessels and the U.S. Navy rushed to assist amid heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran.
In Iran, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that while Tehran doesn’t seek nuclear weapons, “America could not do anything” to stop Iran if it did.
The comments came during a one-on-one meeting capping Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s high-stakes visit in Tehran that sought to ease Iran-U.S. tensions, suggested the efforts had failed.
Benchmark Brent crude spiked at one point by as much 4% in trading following the reported attack, to over $62 a barrel, highlighting how crucial the area remains to global energy supplies. A third of all oil traded by sea passes through the strait, which is the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf.