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Iran fast-boats preventing towing of damaged Altair tanker - source

Reuters logo Reuters 6/14/2019
In this photo dated Thursday June 13, 2019, made available by the Norwegian shipowner Frontline, showing the crude oil tanker Front Altair after the fire aboard was extinguished onboard the Norwegian ship in the Gulf of Oman.  The U.S. Navy rushed to assist the stricken vessels in the Gulf of Oman, off the coast of Iran, as two oil tankers came under suspected attack amid heightened tension between Iran and the U.S. (Frontline via AP) © Frontline via AP In this photo dated Thursday June 13, 2019, made available by the Norwegian shipowner Frontline, showing the crude oil tanker Front Altair after the fire aboard was extinguished onboard the Norwegian ship in the Gulf of Oman. The U.S. Navy rushed to assist the stricken vessels in the Gulf of Oman, off the coast of Iran, as two oil tankers came under suspected attack amid heightened tension between Iran and the U.S. (Frontline via AP)

WASHINGTON, June 14 (Reuters) - Iranian military fast-boats in the Gulf of Oman are preventing two privately owned tug boats from towing away an oil tanker damaged in attacks on Thursday, a U.S. official said on Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The U.S. official did not say how the United States knew of the reported standoff between the Iranian fast-boats and the tug boats, which were trying to tie up and tow away the Norwegian-owned Front Altair. The United States blames Iran for Thursday's attacks against the Altair and the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous.

Tehran denies the accusations. (Reporting by Phil Stewart Editing by James Dalgleish)

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