The administration of US President Donald Trump blames Iran for attacks on two oil tankers in the Sea of Oman as Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has called the incident “suspicious” which occurred during a landmark visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the Islamic Republic.
According to Press TV, on Thursday morning, Iranian rescuers rushed to the assistance of two oil tankers hit by yet unspecified accidents in the Sea of Oman, transferring all of their 44 crew members to Iran’s southern shores.
None of the two involved tankers — one sailing under a Panama flag and owned by Japan and another bearing the Marshall Islands’ ensign — sank during the incident, said the Director General of Ports and Maritime Department in the Southern Iranian Province of Hormozgan, Allah-Morad Afifipour.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday accused Iran of carrying out the attacks without providing any evidence to back up his accusation.
“It is the assessment of the United States government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today,” Pompeo told reporters in a brief appearance at the State Department in Washington, DC.
“This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication,” Pompeo said.
Saudi agrees with US
Saudi Arabia – a key ally of the US in West Asia – said on Thursday that it agrees with the United States that Iran was behind the attacks.
“We have no reason to disagree with the secretary of state. We agree with him,” Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir told CNN. “Iran has a history of doing this.”