An oil tanker is seen after it was attacked at the Gulf of Oman, June 13, 2019. ISNA/Handout via REUTERS
An oil tanker is seen after it was attacked at the Gulf of Oman, June 13, 2019. ISNA/Handout via REUTERS

Iran says in charge of security of Strait of Hormuz

Fri, Jun. 14, 2019
CAIRO – 14 June 2019: Iran said on Friday it was responsible for maintaining the security of the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf, state radio reported, adding that blaming Tehran for attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman was alarming.

“We are responsible for ensuring the security of the Strait and we have rescued the crew of those attacked tankers in the shortest possible time,” Radio quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi as saying.

“Obviously, accusing Iran for such a suspicious and unfortunate incident is the simplest and the most convenient way for U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other U.S. officials. These accusations are alarming.”

The United States blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday that drove up oil prices and raised concern about a new U.S.-Iranian confrontation.

It was not immediately clear what caused the explosions that forced the crews to abandon ship and leave both the Norwegian-owned Front Altair and Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous adrift in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran.

US Central Command spokesman Bill Urban released a video of what the US military said was an IRGC Gashti Class patrol boat approaching the ship Kokuka Courageous “and was observed and recorded removing (an) unexploded limpet mine from the M/T Kokuka Courageous.”

The attacks on the ships are part of a “campaign” of “escalating tension” by Iran and a threat to international peace and security, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

“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 said. “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.”
 
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