Pompeo says 'lots of evidence' proves Iran attacked oil tankers

Oman Strait of Hormuz

Oman Strait of Hormuz

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo closes his remarks as he departs after a media availability, at the State Department on June 13, 2019, in Washington.

President Trump will this week hold talks with his trusted security aides in the wake of last week's attack on two oil tankers in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, two USA officials with direct knowledge of the discussions told CNN. "We've done what we can to deter this", Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News Sunday, adding: "The Iranians should understand very clearly that we will continue to take actions that deter Iran from engaging in this kind of behaviour". "The intelligence community has lots of data, lots of evidence".

Iran has denied involvement in the attacks and said the USA is accusing them without evidence.

The Norwegian-owned Front Altair caught fire Thursday after what the USA described as an attack with mines, The Associated Press reports. Sailors on a passing ship rescued the crew as black smoke billowed off the tanker.

Damage assessment on Japan's Kokuka Courageous, and the other tanker, owned by a Norwegian shipping company, will start after UAE authorities complete security checks.

Saudi Arabia has joined the United States in blaming Tehran.

In response to Abe's comments that the U.S. is ready for genuine talks with Iran, the Leader said, "We do not believe it at all, because honest negotiations would not come from an individual like Trump". NPR's Peter Kenyon reports Tehran summoned the United Kingdom ambassador to protest London's stance on the tanker attacks.

American officials say the footage shows Iranian Revolutionary Guard troops removing an unexploded mine from a Japanese tanker.

The attacks come as Iran faces renewed USA economic pressure.

Tensions between Iran and the United States have risen since U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of a deal previous year between Iran and global powers that aimed to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions in exchange for sanctions relief.

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Trump also reimposed sanctions against the Islamic Republic and recently ended waivers that allow some countries to buy oil Iranian oil.

Associate political scientist Ariane Tabatabai at RAND Corporation told NPR's Scott Simon that if Iran is to blame, it could be retaliating against the USA measures.

Senior military figures have lent their credence to the Pentagon video.

Oil prices slipped on Monday as signs of an economic slowdown amid global trade disputes began to outweigh supply fears that were stoked by attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week and sent prices higher.

"I will concede that there are countries that wish this would just go away", Pompeo said. "This is important to the entire globe".

"We are confident that we can take a set of actions that can restore deterrence which is our mission set".

It is not yet clear how soon Trump will be briefed and when a decision will be made, the officials said.

"These past 40 days demonstrate the malign activity that puts Saudis at risk", Pompeo said.

"We don't want a war".

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