The US Navy had better not allow that UAE tanker – which disappeared under extremely suspicious circumstances – to approach any ports, other cargo ships, warships, oil terminals, or military bases in the Gulf before the Navy intercepts and searches every last inch of it for signs of Iranian sabotage.
The most likely types of mischief Iran could cause with that tanker are –
- Convert the ship into a gigantic, floating suicide bomber by planting explosives onboard and then sailing it (perhaps with Iranian naval personnel posing as the original crew members) towards a desired target.
- Smuggle terrorists onboard who will launch onshore attacks later on.
- Spike the tanker’s oil cargo with an industrial chemical agent.
If Iran places explosives onboard, docks the ship at a Gulf Arab port, or terminal, or other target, and then detonates those bombs, the following explosion would destroy any oil tankers nearby, blast docking machinery to the Moon, and knock out any surrounding port and energy infrastructure within the blast radius for at least a year.
They could also hide terrorists aboard for onshore attacks; although this is less likely since onshore terrorism against the Gulf Arabs would not cause oil prices to spike like the other two possibilities.
And were the tanker’s oil spiked with some sort of corrosive chemical agent, and then blended at a Gulf Arab refinery with oil from barrels carried by different tankers, the tainted oil from the UAE tanker could render unusable the oil from non-tainted barrels.
Potentially, depending on the exact blending process and particular chemicals used, this could sabotage tens of millions of barrels of oil and no one may realize the damage until this unusable oil has already been shipped to refineries across the industrialized world.