US blames Iran for attacks on 2 tankers near Persian Gulf




 

WASHINGTON (AP) - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that the United States government blames Iran for attacks on two oil tankers near the Persian Gulf, casting it as the latest in a series of "provocative actions" that have sharply raised tensions in the region.

A U.S. assessment of Iran's responsibility for the attacks, which forced the evacuation of the crews in international waters, was based in part on intelligence as well as on the expertise needed to carry out the operation, Pompeo told reporters in Washington.

It was also based on a recent series of incidents in the region that the U.S. blames on Iran, including a similar attack on tankers in the area in May and the bombing of an oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia by Iranian-backed fighters, he said.

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

The U.S. planned to raise the attacks at the U.N. Security Council later Thursday. Pompeo also said the U.S. would defend its forces and interests in the Middle East but gave no details on any immediate plans.

Pompeo did not take questions after giving the brief statement.

Tensions between Iran and the United States have been growing since President Donald Trump last year withdrew from an international agreement aimed at restricting Iran's nuclear program and re-instated economic sanctions that have had a devastating effect on the Iranian economy.

In May, the U.S. rushed an aircraft carrier strike group and other military assets to the Persian Gulf region in response to what it said were threats from Iran.

Pompeo on Thursday said Iran had attempted the covert deployment of small boats capable of launching missiles, in an apparent description of the threat that prompted the deployment.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Iran says scientist jailed in US to return in days
Iran says scientist jailed in US to return in days
  • World
  • 2020-06-01 11:57:29Z

Tehran said Monday that scientist Sirous Asgari, one of more than a dozen Iranians behind bars in the United States, is set to return to the Islamic republic within days. Asgari was accused by a US court in 2016 of stealing trade secrets while on an academic visit to Ohio. The academic told British newspaper The Guardian in March that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency was keeping him in a detention centre in Louisiana without basic sanitation and refusing to let him return to Iran despite his exoneration.

Iran
Iran's new parliament speaker says talks with US 'futile'
  • World
  • 2020-05-31 07:08:53Z

Iran's parliament speaker Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf said any negotiations with the United States would be "futile" as he delivered his first major speech to the conservative-dominated chamber on Sunday. Ghalibaf, a former commander of the Revolutionary Guards' air force, was elected speaker on Thursday after February elections that swung the balance in the legislature towards ultra-conservatives. The newly formed parliament "considers negotiations with and appeasement of America, as the axis of global arrogance, to be futile and harmful," said Ghalibaf.

Pompeo demands Russia free ill American accused of spying
Pompeo demands Russia free ill American accused of spying

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday demanded that Russia free a former US marine accused of spying in Russia after the man underwent urgent surgery in a Moscow hospital. Fifty-year-old Paul Whelan had emergency hernia surgery late Thursday after suffering "severe abdominal pain," his brother David Whelan said in a statement Friday. Paul Whelan, who also holds Canadian, Irish and British citizenship, was detained in Moscow in December 2018 for allegedly receiving state secrets.

Cleared of wrongdoing for Kansas trips, Pompeo turns to attack Dem requesting probe
Cleared of wrongdoing for Kansas trips, Pompeo turns to attack Dem requesting probe

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not violate a law governing federal employees' behavior with his trips to Kansas in 2019, according to a letter from an independent federal investigative agency released by Pompeo late Thursday. Pompeo has come under increased scrutiny after recommending the firing of the State Department's inspector general. Democratic lawmakers announced they were expanding their investigation Friday, requesting interviews with several senior State Department officials.

Democrats plan interviews with Trump administration officials over watchdog firing
Democrats plan interviews with Trump administration officials over watchdog firing
  • US
  • 2020-05-29 17:31:37Z

U.S. Democratic lawmakers said on Friday they plan to conduct closed-door interviews with officials from President Donald Trump's administration about the surprise firing of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick, and release transcripts to the public. Representatives Eliot Engel, chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, and Carolyn Maloney, chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee, and Senator Bob Menendez, ranking Democrat on Senate Foreign Relations, said they were expanding an investigation of Linick's May 15 dismissal. The lawmakers said Linick's office was working on at least two investigations related to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Europe