Iran summons United Kingdom diplomat amid rising tanker attack tensions

Is Iran to blame for suspected attacks on Gulf tankers

Is Iran to blame for suspected attacks on Gulf tankers

"There's no doubt", Pompeo said on Fox News Sunday.

That has deprived Iran of oil income and has coincided with what U.S. officials said was a surge in intelligence pointing to Iranian preparations for attacks against USA forces and interests in the Gulf region.

On Friday, the Trump administration elaborated on its allegation that Iranian forces were behind the previous day's attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, while Iran continued to deny responsibility.

Three weeks later, on May 12, Iran attacked four oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, according to the White House. Sailors on a passing ship rescued the crew as black smoke billowed off the tanker.

"We have done our own intelligence assessment".

Iran has repeatedly warned in the past that it could block the strategic Hormuz Strait in a relatively low-tech, high-impact countermeasure to any attack by the US.

Attacks on Saudi Arabia by Iran-aligned Yemeni rebels have further fuelled tensions in the region.

In his first public comments since the attacks, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman said in remarks published on Sunday that he would not hesitate to tackle any threats to the oil-rich kingdom.

Asked whether Iran was behind the attacks on the tankers, Hunt told the BBC's Andrew Marr show: "We have done our own intelligence assessment and the phrase we used is nearly certain".

Iran has dismissed the accusation.

Oil rises on tensions after Middle East tanker attacks
An Iranian navy boat tries to stop the fire of an oil tanker after it was attacked in the Gulf of Oman, June 13, 2019. The US Secretary of State stressed that the US gets relatively little of its energy supplies through the strait.

Iran attempted to shoot down a US drone arriving at the scene of two fuel tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman on June 13, according to a Fox News report that cited a senior USA official.

Other Europeans have been skeptical, including Germany's Foreign Secretary Heiko Maas. The Iranian side also sought a "correction" on the Britain's stance.

The development comes in the wake of suspected attacks on oil tankers last week in the region, attacks that Washington has blamed on Iran.

"So, you've seen them attacking global waterways, trying to frankly drive up the price of crude oil around the world so that the world will cry uncle [and buy Iranian oil]", he said.

The crisis takes root in the Trump Administration's decision to re-impose punishing economic sanctions on Tehran and its oil exports, after unilaterally withdrawing the USA from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

It said the massive USA military presence in the region and US sanctions are the main sources of insecurity and instability in the Persian Gulf. "According to data from the U.S. Naval Institute, Iraq initiated 43 attacks on ships in the Arabian Gulf prior to 1984".

Prices had jumped as much as 4.5% on Thursday after the attacks on two oil tankers near Iran and the Strait of Hormuz.

Senior military figures have lent their credence to the Pentagon video. I'll make a whole bunch more calls today.

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". This is an worldwide challenge, important to the entire globe.

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