Muscat: Iran and Oman have agreed to protect the Strait of Hormuz, following a militant group's claim that it inflicted damage to the Japanese super tanker, VLCC M. Star, owned by Mitsui OSK Lines.

Brigadier-General Ahmad Vahidi, Defence and Armed Forces Logistics Minister of Iran, departed Oman on Wednesday, after agreeing with his Omani counterpart to help maintain security in the region and, in particular, in the Strait of Hormuz.

An estimated 40 per cent of the world's oil shipments pass through the Strait of Hormuz each day.

There have been conflicting theories speculating about how the vessel, which had a crew of 31 and was heading to the port of Chiba, Japan, was damaged on July 28.

The crew reported that they saw a flare, followed by a blast, before the tanker’s hull was damaged.

However, after the damaged ship was taken to Fujairah, it was reported that, in all likelihood, a big wave, caused by earthquake in Iran, was in fact to blame.

The exact cause of the damage remains unclear and the company in Japan is currently investigating, with the assistance of British experts.

Oman’s Minister Responsible for Defence Affairs Syed Badr Bin Saud Al Bu Saidi held talks with," Iranian Defence Minister Brigadier-General Ahmad Vahidi, who was also received by Oman’s leader Sultan Qaboos Bin Saeed, on Tuesday.

"Boosting regional countries' security provides stability, economic progresses and social-welfare," Brig Gen Vahidi, was quoted as saying by the Iranian Students News Agency.

The Omani minister referred to the activities of the Iran-Oman military committee and said the committee boosted bilateral defence co-operation.

He also said his country supports peaceful use of nuclear energy and that imposing sanctions and, or, causing a war would solve nothing.

Interaction and dialogue were the only solutions for the issue, he said.
Vahidi also called for the establishment of collective security and said: “Regional countries hold considerable potential to secure stability and tranquillity”.