United Kingdom 'almost certain' Iran behind tanker attacks after own intelligence assessment

Washington DC. Pompeo said

Washington DC. Pompeo said"It is the assessment of the U.S. government that Iran is responsible for today's attacks in the Gulf of Oman

An oil tanker is seen after it was attacked at the Gulf of Oman, in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran, June 13, 2019. Corbyn tweeted, "Britain should act to ease tensions in the Gulf, not fuel a military escalation that began with United States withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement".

U.S. President Donald Trump has blamed Iran for the attacks, citing a U.S. Central Command video that purports to show a patrol boat with personnel docked near one of the oil tankers.

Pressed on whether new USA military deployment to the region was possible, Pompeo said that "of course" remained among the options that President Donald Trump may consider to keep oil tankers moving through the narrow strait, a strategic choke point for oil shipments from the Middle East.

The United States also believes Iranians fired a missile at a U.S. drone in the area hours before the attack but missed, a USA official told CNN.

Iran has repeatedly threatened to block the Hormuz Strait, a narrow seaway vital to the world's oil supplies, in the case of a conflict with the U.S. He called the alleged shipping attacks "an global challenge, important to the entire globe".

The two oil tankers crippled in the attacks are being assessed off the coast off the United Arab Emirates (UAE) before their cargos are unloaded, the ships' operators said on Sunday.

It's raised fears of broader confrontation in the region. "We want to get them back at the table, if they want to go back", he said, referring to USA efforts to open bilateral negotiations on a new nuclear deal with Iran. "We've done what we can to deter this", Pompeo said.

The official news agency quoted Larijani as telling lawmakers it appeared Washington had staged the "suspicious" attacks after its economic sanctions against Iran had failed to achieve any results.

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"These were attacks by the Islamic Republic of Iran on commercial shipping, on the freedom of navigation, with the clear intent to deny transit through the strait", he said.

Japan's Kyodo news agency cited informed state officials as saying Tokyo had demanded that Washington examine the case further, and that grainy video footage released by the USA as supposed evidence was unclear and could not be used to prove anything.

Owners were said to be halting new fixtures, although vessels bound for the region that have just loaded and are several weeks away are still continuing their voyages for now. "I am confident that we will have partners that understand this threat", Pompeo said.

But BBC diplomatic correspondent Caroline Hawley said Iran is "clearly angry" at the British accusations and "made its displeasure known" through the meeting with a senior foreign ministry official.

Pompeo spoke on "Fox News Sunday" and CBS's "Face the Nation".

"It didn't detonate, they had to go back and retrieve it".

Hunt had issued a statement on Friday blaming Iran and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for the 13 June attacks, saying no other state or non-state actor could have been responsible.

A spokesperson for Russia's presidential office, Dmitry Peskov, warned on state television on Sunday that incidents like this can shake the foundations of the world economy. "That's why it's hardly possible to accept baseless accusations in this situation", President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitri Peskov said on Russian television.

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