Yahoo is reporting a Reuters story that the Japanese tanker M. Star suffered a mysterious explosion at approximately 0030 Local time in the area of the Straits of Hormuz.
It said an explosion occurred onboard at around 00:30 a.m. local time (2030 GMT Tuesday), but the cause was unclear.
“A crew member saw light on the horizon just before the explosion, so (ship owner Mitsui O.S.K.) believes there is a possibility it was caused by an outside attack,” Japan’s ministry said in a statement.
Oman’s coastguard said there was no evidence of any attack on the tanker and instead cited an earthquake.
“The boat was hit by a tremor …we have no information of an attack,” an Omani coastguard official told Reuters.
The Strait of Hormuz remained open and it was “business as usual,” an official from the Omani ministry of transport said.
Please read the entire article fro more information.
Note from Ryan Mauro: It is important that we remember that as of yet, there is no evidence that the IRGC or Al-Qaeda was involved. It is reasonable to speculate, but we cannot make any assertions just yet.
Analysis from Richard Radcliffe: As you might say in Clue, “Three Revolutionary Guards in a Rigid Raider with an RPG.” Earthquake? Causing an explosion on the superstructure of a Very Large Crude Carrier? Bovine Excrement! Cover up? You bet. El Queda isn’t the only group that has threatened to close the Straits of Hormuz. It’s a long way from Yemen in a Rigid Raider. It’s a real short trip from Bandar Abbas.
There is absolutely no chance that three Revolutionary Guards in a Rigid Raider can sink a VLCC with an RPG. About the best that an RPG could do is punch a small hole in the outer hull. All tankers built pretty much since the Exxon Valdez accident are double hulled. It will take considerably more effort to sink a VLCC.
As a display of displeasure over the sanctions it is pretty low key. It should also disturb the people who sent those Revolutionary Guards out that they couldn’t hit a more significant part of the tanker and make a real impression. Expect more incidents of this type. Also expect increased harassment of US Navy ships transiting the Straits of Hormuz and within the Persian Gulf.