Saudi Arabia ‘won’t hesitate to confront Iran’ after oil tanker attacks

Rouhani delivered a speech at the CICA summit in Dushanbe on Saturday

Rouhani delivered a speech at the CICA summit in Dushanbe on Saturday

"We promise the Saudi regime with more painful days as long as the aggression and siege continue on our country", the group's armed forces spokesman said in a tweet published by Al-Masirah TV's account.

Thursday's attack on two tankers - the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous that was carrying highly flammable methanol when it was rocked by explosions and the Norwegian-operated Front Altair - came around the time Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was meeting with Iranian leaders in Tehran.

Houthi rebels in Yemen recently shot down a U.S. government-operated drone with assistance from Iran, the United States military said in a statement on Sunday.

"Kokuka Courageous has arrived safely at the designated anchorage at Sharjah", an emirate neighboring Dubai, the vessel's Singapore-based BSM Ship Management said in a statement Sunday.

"Our crew remains on board the Kokuka Courageous".

A U.S. official told Reuters a surface-to-air missile was sacked from Iranian territory on Thursday morning at a USA drone that was near Front Altair following the attack on the tanker.

A handout photo made available by the Norwegian shipowner Frontline of the crude oil tanker Front Altair during the firefighting of the fire onboard the ship in the Gulf of Oman, June 13, 2019.

Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in Cyprus on Saturday, didn't name the state, but said his country wants to work with other nations to prevent a further escalation of tensions in the region.

"Taken as a whole, these unprovoked attacks present a clear threat to global peace and security, a blatant assault on the freedom of navigation, and an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension by Iran", Pompeo said.

Tensions have escalated since the Trump Administration re-imposed punishing economic sanctions on Tehran and its oil exports after unilaterally pulling the US out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, which America's European allies are struggling to salvage.

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Doing so would disrupt oil tankers travelling out of the Gulf region to the Indian Ocean and global export routes.

Iran's parliament speaker said Sunday Washington could be behind the "suspicious" tanker attacks, the official news agency IRNA reported.

"This is one way for the Iranians to showcase that, if they're going to be paying the costs of sanctions and political isolation, that they can actually begin to impose similar costs on the United States", she said.

The UN has called for an independent investigation.

In his first public remarks since attacks last month on oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, the powerful Saudi prince accused Iran of using militias to destabilize the region.

Divisions over responsibility for last week's attack have deepened amid warnings over the danger of a major regional confrontation over the strategic shipping channel, despite hints by Donald Trump about possible negotiations with Iran.

The Houthis say they launched a cruise missile that struck the Abha airport Wednesday.

It was unclear if there were any casualties following Saturday's drone strikes.

Saudi Arabia's crown prince has warned against "exploiting" the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi - which he is suspected of ordering - in what appeared to be an attack on Turkey.

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