Iran denies role in Gulf of Oman attacks

US Blames Iran for Attacks on 2 Oil Tankers in Gulf of Oman

US Blames Iran for Attacks on 2 Oil Tankers in Gulf of Oman

U.S. President Donald Trump blamed Iran on Friday for attacks on two oil tankers at the entrance to the Gulf despite Tehran's denials, stoking fears of a confrontation in the vital oil shipping route.

In the early hours of Friday morning, the USA military released a video that it claims shows an unexploded limpet mine being removed from one of the tankers, the Kokuka Courageous. Russia, which has close if sometimes strained links to Iran, warned against "hasty conclusions".

Thursday's attack resembled one in May that targeted four oil tankers off the nearby Emirati port of Fujairah.

Iran rejects the United States accusations. Iran also denied those accusations. He said Thursday's incident raised "very serious concerns", and that the United States was continuing to assess the situation.

Al Jazeera's Dorsa Jabbari, reporting from Tehran, said the latest United States moves were aimed at forcing Iran to negotiate a new deal that would also address its ballistic missiles programme as well as support for armed groups in the region. Mr Bolton was outspoken on the need to deter Iran last month but appears to be have reined in after Mr Trump grew frustrated with his rhetoric.

"You know they did it because you saw the boat", the president said in the live, wide-ranging interview.

Abe told reporters he briefed Trump by phone on his trip to Iran but did not give details, except to say the president thanked him for trying to help de-escalate tensions in the region and that he planned to continue cooperating closely with the U.S.

What did the U.S. say?

The incident was the second attack on shipping in the region in four weeks, recalling the so-called Tanker War of the 1980s, when hundreds of vessels were damaged during the Iran-Iraq conflict.

Adding to the allegations was the UK's Foreign Minister, Jeremy Hunt that recently confirmed to start their own assessment with the USA view of Iran being the hand behind the incident, as per the BBC report. Evidence was "circumstantial" according to Bellingcat. In recent years, the IRGC Navy has steadily supplanted Iran's conventional Navy all along Iran's Gulf coast, from its border with Kuwait in the north all the way down to Pakistan and the Arabian Sea.

He said the "blatant attack on civilians" was only the latest in a spate of rebel assaults "undermining the UN's political work & sending a message of continuing violence & hostility".

IRGC commandos regularly practice covert operations and simulated attacks.

China and Iran have close energy ties, and Beijing has been angered by USA threats against countries and companies that violate U.S. sanctions by importing Iranian oil.

"Taken as a whole, these unprovoked attacks are present a clear threat to global peace and security, a blatant assault on the freedom of navigation, and an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension from Iran", Pompeo continued. There will likely be doubts in Tehran as to whether this video is genuine.

The operators of the Norwegian-owned MT Front Altair offered no immediate explanation of what happened to their vessel.

"This is an ongoing process, and we will get to the bottom of it and we will hold those responsible accountable", al-Jubeir said about the October 2018 murder of The Washington Post columnist. The Press TV article from 2016 covers Iran's ambition to build a "fast battle ships cruising at 80 knots p/h".

Iranian gunboats surrounded a rescue vessel carrying the crew of the tanker damaged outside the Persian Gulf and ordered the captain to turn over the sailors, Fox News reported, citing American officials.

Purported damage done to the Kokuka Courageous Tanker by Iran's Revolutionary Guard and a suspected mine on its hull.

The Kokuka Courageous was about 30km (20 miles) off the Iranian coast when it sent its emergency call.

In 1987 and 1988 Iran used mines against oil tankers and the US Navy escorted ships through the region.

The attack resulted in about a 4% increase in oil prices.