A picture obtained by AFP from Iranian news agency ISNA on June 13, 2019 reportedly shows fire and smoke billowing from Norwegian-owned Front Altair tanker said to have been attacked in the waters of the Gulf of Oman. (AFP via Getty Images)

Report: US Cyber-attack Disabled Iran’s Ability to Target Tankers in Gulf

According to the New York Times, the United States launched a cyber-attack that disabled a critical Iranian data base that had been used to track and target vessels in the Gulf. Washington has accused Tehran of perpetrating numerous attacks this summer on oil tankers transiting vital Middle East waterways, including the Strait of Hormuz. The Islamic Republic has concurrently seized at least three foreign ships, including the British-flagged Stena Impero, which Iranian forces have been holding since July. The US reportedly launched the cyber-attack the same month, after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps shot down an American drone the Pentagon claims was flying over international waters. Following that incident, US President Donald Trump green-lighted an American military response, only to call it off ten minutes beforehand upon learning that some 150 people could have been killed in the retaliatory strikes. Notably, there have been no reports of attacks on any vessels in the Gulf in weeks.

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