U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has blamed Iran for the “blatant assault” on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman earlier on Thursday.
In a press conference Thursday afternoon, Pompeo said the U.S. had come to the conclusion based on intelligence, the type of weapons used and the sophistication of the assaults.
He charged that Iran is working to disrupt the flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz and are a deliberate part of a campaign to escalate tension.
His comments came shortly after a senior U.S. defense official told Fox News that it saw an unexploded mine attached to the hull of the Panama-listed, Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous ship, one of the two ships attacked. It is the same type of mine used to damage four oil tankers last month in the same area – an attack senior Pentagon officials blamed on Iran.
A spokesman for Taiwan’s CPC Corp oil refiner, which chartered the other boat attacked on Thursday morning, the Front Altair, said it was “suspected of being hit by a torpedo”, although his not been confirmed. – read more