Published: Mon, June 17, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Gulf of Oman: Iran protests to United Kingdom ambassador

Gulf of Oman: Iran protests to United Kingdom ambassador

On Friday, US president Donald Trump told Fox News that Iran "did do it".

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo doubled down Sunday on the claim that Iran was responsible for attacks on two tankers traveling in the Strait of Hormuz, despite furnishing no new evidence beyond a video distributed last week by the Pentagon.

Pompeo, a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, also defended the administration's conclusion that Iran was behind the attack, saying there was other evidence beyond video footage released last week.

An oil tanker is seen after it was attacked at the Gulf of Oman.

The prince also said that his country does not want war. Iran has denied having any role.

"We made a terrible mistake when it came to Iraq and we must not make the same mistake again", she said.

It comes amid calls from Saudi Arabia to secure Gulf energy supplies given that the tankers are on a vital oil shipping route.

Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom have backed up the USA claim, which Iran has strenuously denied.

The Kokuka Courageous is the vessel where Iranian Revolutionary Guard troops were filmed Thursday removing something from the ship's hull.

The U.S. has blamed Iran for the suspected attacks on two oil tankers, denouncing what it called a campaign of "escalating tensions".

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Last week, the Houthis launched several drone and missile strikes targeting southern regions of Saudi Arabia, including Abha, Khamis Mushait and Jizan.

Associate political scientist Ariane Tabatabai at RAND Corporation told NPR's Scott Simon that if Iran is to blame, it could be retaliating against the US measures.

The second tanker, Norwegian-owned MT Front Altair, offered no immediate explanation of what happened to their vessel as it caught fire after the attack Thursday, sending a thick cloud of black smoke visible even by satellite from space.

Iran's foreign ministry responded on Saturday by summoning British Ambassador Rob Macaire over Hunt's "false remarks" and chided London for its "blind and precipitous alignment" with U.S. views, a statement said.

The top USA diplomat said the United States does not want war with Tehran, but it will ensure passage through the chokepoint that links the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman, a hook-shaped body of water through which as much as a third of the world's oil supply is shipped.

Iran's mission to the United Nations issued a statement saying: "The US economic war and terrorism against the Iranian people as well as its massive military presence in the region have been and continue to be the main sources of insecurity and instability in the wider Persian Gulf region and the most significant threat to its peace and security".

News of the attempted attack on the USA drone piles onto mounting tensions in the region.

Oil prices have climbed 3.4 per cent since Thursday's attacks.

The prince also accused "Iran and its proxies" over May 12 attacks on four tankers anchored in the Gulf of Oman off the United Arab Emirates port of Fujairah.

A damaged Japanese tanker arrived Sunday at a UAE anchorage site after it was rocked by explosions in Gulf waters as Saudi Arabia accused arch-rival Iran of being behind the attack.

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