US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a press conference on Thursday that the United States has assessed, based on intelligence, type of weapons used and sophistication of assaults, that Iran is responsible for the attacks on tankers in the Gulf of Oman.
The Secretary of State said Iran’s unprovoked attacks are part of a campaign to escalate tension, adding that Iran is working to disrupt the flow of oil through Strait of Hormuz.
It is the assessment of the U.S. government that Iran is responsible for today's attacks in the Gulf of Oman. These attacks are a threat to international peace and security, a blatant assault on the freedom of navigation, and an unacceptable escalation of tension by Iran. pic.twitter.com/cbLrWNU5S0— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) June 13, 2019
“Prime Minister [Shinzo] Abe made a historic trip to Iran to ask the regime to de-escalate and enter into talks, Iran’s Supreme Leader rejected PM Abe’s diplomacy today by saying he has no response to President Trump and will not answer,” Pompeo said during the press conference.
“The Supreme Leader’s government then insulted Japan by attacking a Japanese oil tanker just outside of Iranian waters, threatening the lives of the entire crew, creating a maritime emergency,” he added.
Pompeo said: “Iran’s Foreign Minister today responded to these attacks, he said sardonically: ‘suspicious doesn’t begin to describe what likely transpired this morning.’”
“Foreign Minister Zarif may think this is funny, but no one else in the world does.”
Pompeo also said he has instructed US ambassador to UN to raise Iran issue before Security Council.
Two tankers were hit in suspected attacks in the Gulf of Oman and the crew have been evacuated, shipping sources said on Thursday, a month after a similar incident in which four tankers in the region were struck.