IRAN-IRAQ-SAUDI ARABIA: SHIP ATTACKS

Created: 12/19/1987

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

7

ARABIA:

Attack*

?ZtH'PCOn"nU# n'On Tehran'*

Iran attacked two more tankers yesterday and another today-at least one of which was In trade with Saudi AraUa-accordion lond shipping sources. Since October, more than!haBcTSi,ttacked by Iran have been In the Saudi trader"

On Thursday. Iranian speedboats for the first time returned to firereviously hH ship, which was carryjng Saudi cargo, asnd press I

jThe Iranians presumably are trying to force Riyadh to

j aid to Iraq, to end Its support for the US reflagglng

program and to be more accommodating on oil matters. Tehran also may be demonstrating to Riyadh Iran's capacity for Intensffvlna the tanker war rf the Saudis refuse to placate

Iran maybe copying an Iraqi tactic In repeatedly attacking The same ships and by firing on tugboats. Both appear Intent on Inflicting more damage and slowing recovery operations. The Iranian speedboat crews willingness to shoot al. press helicopters Increases the risk they might also fire on US Navy helicopters offering assistance to stricken tankers MJ|

There Is no evidence that Tehran has focused Its efforts specifically against Saudl-assodated shipping. Because more thanercent of all Persian Guff shipping Is Saudi related, it la reasonable thata high percentage of ships attacked will be Saudi associated. ejanaVl

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