U.S. Government seeks to convince international partners that iran is behind suspected attacks on two tankers in the gulf of oman. U.S. Secretary of state mike pompeo said in several interviews that there was no doubt that iran was responsible for the attacks.
He had spoken to various colleagues on the phone about this issue over the weekend and is confident that others will also understand the threat posed by tehran. "The world must unite against the threat from the islamic republic of iran," he warned. So far, only great britain and saudi arabia have openly sided with the americans in the question. Iran clearly rejects the accusations.
The two tankers were damaged in heavy incidents in the gulf of oman on thursday morning. Norwegian shipping company’s "front altair" caught fire after explosions. The japanese operator of the "kokuka courageous" also reported two detonations. The exact background is still unclear.
The U.S. Still held iran responsible for the alleged attacks on thursday. U.S. President donald trump backed up the view on friday, saying in an interview with the fox news channel: "iran did it."
Pompeo now followed up. Numerous intelligence reports proved that the attacks were carried out by iran, he told the fox news channel on sunday – but without giving details. Pompeo accused iran of working toward escalation. U.S. Government will not tolerate provocations from tehran.
Pompeo would not comment further on possible courses of action. He emphasized: "we do not want war."The u.S. Government will continue to put pressure on iran through economic sanctions. In an interview with CBS, he did not explicitly rule out a military response. When asked if this was one of the possible options, he said, "of course."
The british government and the saudi leadership publicly backed the americans. Saudi crown prince mohammed bin salman blamed iran for the attacks in an interview with the arabic newspaper al-sharq al-awsat.
Iran denied the allegations and spoke of baseless insinuations. Iran’s auben minister mohammed javad sarif, on the other hand, accused the u.S. Of using the incident as a pretext. Iran had previously suggested that the U.S. And its allies could themselves be responsible for the attacks and wanted to blame them on tehran in order to provoke a military conflict and bring about regime change in iran.
Shortly after the incidents, the U.S. Government presented a video that was allegedly recorded after the explosion. It is said to show an iranian revolutionary guard speedboat approaching the tanker "kokuka courageous" and the crew removing an unexploded limpet mine from the tanker’s hull. One possible explanation would be that the explosives were to be recovered in order to remove traces of the bomb.
But the video is not clear evidence. The U.S. Government said it would release further evidence of its assessment to build international consensus on the issue.
The U.S. Military said sunday that an iranian missile attempted to shoot down a U.S. Drone that had been in the air over the affected sea area in the gulf of oman on thursday morning. The aim of the action was obviously to prevent observation of the tanker attack, the statement from u.S. Central command said. The launch attempt was unsuccessful, however, and the missile missed the drone by about one kilometer. No further details were given.
Many international partners have so far been reluctant to apportion blame and have called for a detailed investigation of the incidents. Pope francis also expressed concern on sunday over the growing tensions and called for diplomatic means to be used to resolve the complex problems in the region.
EU countries’ eagle ministers will discuss the situation in the middle east – and whether the EU should go along with the U.S. Assessment – on monday in luxembourg. So far, it has not done so, but only called on all sides to exercise rough restraint and avoid provocation.
If the EU agrees with the U.S. Assessment, the question of new sanctions against iran could be raised. The EU actually wants to avoid a further escalation of the situation in order to preserve the chance of saving the international nuclear agreement with iran. This provides for the country to limit its nuclear activities so that it cannot build atomic bombs. In return, the lifting of sanctions was promised.
The U.S. Government had single-handedly pulled out of the nuclear agreement the previous year. She tries to pressure tehran with economic sanctions to negotiate a new, stricter and expanded agreement. Iran rejects this so far.
The strait in question in the gulf of oman, the strait of hormus, is one of the most important sea straits of all. It connects the oil-rich gulf region with the open sea. A large part of the world’s oil is transported by ship over this route.