United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused Iran of being the culprits behind the reported attacks that damaged two tankers in the Gulf of Oman. However, he has not given any concrete evidence to back this claim that could elevate the tensions between the two hostile countries.
The statement from the US SoS had come hours after Tehran had called the incidents as ‘suspicious’. Pompeo was speaking at a press brief on Thursday said that the attacks are part of Iran’s campaign to escalate tension and a threat to international peace and security. He said in Washington, DC that, “It is the assessment of the United States that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks.”
He didn’t stop there. He said that, “This is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.”
He said that United States will do everything to defend its forces and interests. He had not given any specifics about any plan and he didn’t take any questions from the media. Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif had spoken prior to Pompeo’s statement and said that the timing of the attacks was ‘suspicious’.
The reason for the ‘suspicious’ is that the attacks have coincided with a meeting between Iran’s supreme leader and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Japan’s PM is in Tehran to help defuse the US-Iran tensions. There is no clear information of what exactly happened but the locality at which the attacks have happened has sent international alarm ringing.