Iran dismissed the accusations by the US as it resumed twin attacks that inflamed two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, increasing tensions across the region and sending world oil prices mounted. US State Secretary Mike Pompeo alerted Washington would safeguard its forces and allies in the area, and the United States triggered its case as the UN Security Council met to address the incident – the second in a month in the strategic shipping lane.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif posted on Twitter that the US administration had “ immediately jumped to make allegations against Iran without a shred of factual or circumstantial evidence”.
He charged it to seek to “sabotage diplomacy” amid a visit to Iran by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and “cover up its economic terrorism against Iran” in imposing damaged unilateral sanctions. With tensions mounting between the United States and Iran, the European Union called for “maximum restraint” and UN Chief Antonio Guterres alerted the world cannot grant a major confrontation in the Gulf.
Iran stamped the apparent attacks “suspicious”, as its supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declined introductions by Abe to open discussions with US President Donald Trump.
US State Secretary Mike Pompeo said there was a strong proof of the responsibility of Iran after the US Navy said it had marked a clinging mine stuck to the exterior of one of the vessels.
The US Central Command released a granular texture of black and white video it said presented an Iranian patrol boat “ removing the unexploded limpet mine” from the ship.
US State Secretary Mike Pompeo declared, “ it is the assessment of the United States that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks.”
He said, “this 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 ”.