Gulf of Oman tanker attacks

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Tensions between the USA and Iran increased after Washington accused Iran of masterminding Thursday's attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, which Tehran vehemently denies.

Iran said it was "alarming" of the USA to blame Iran for the attack on the two oil tankers, adding that it was responsible for maintaining security in the region.

The ship's crew saw an Iranian military ship in the vicinity on Thursday night Japan time, Katada said.

The U.S. military said black-and-white footage filmed from a U.S. aircraft showed Guards on one of their patrol boats drawing up to Kokuka Courageous, after blasts struck both vessels, and removing an unexploded limpet mine from its hull. And you know they did it because you saw the boat. I guess one of the mines didn't explode and it's probably got essentially Iran written all over it ... US officials accused Iran at the time of targeting the ships with magnetic mines.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has described the incidents as suspicious.

The tanker attacks coincided with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Iran.

One of the tankers, Front Altair, sailed out of Ruwais in the UAE, and Kokuka out of the Saudi port of al-Jubail, according to shipping tracking data.

The UK has also blamed Iran and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on Friday for the attacks on the tankers.

In New York, U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guteress strongly condemned the attacks, warning that the world can not afford "a major confrontation in the Gulf region". "They've been told in very strong terms", Trump told Fox News.

"The United States will defend its forces, interests and stand with our partners and allies to safeguard global commerce and regional stability", he warned.

That was after another mine had already detonated, damaging the ship, the United States said.

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The owner of the tanker that carried methanol later said it was hit by two "flying objects". Joshua Frey, a 5th Fleet spokesman.

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"Taken as a whole, these unprovoked attacks present a clear threat to worldwide peace and security", Pompeo said.

Iran's Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations on Thursday brushed aside USA claims that Tehran is responsible for attacks. Its forces have built up a formidable flotilla of small, high-speed, hard-to-detect attack craft armed with mines, missiles, torpedoes and drones.

The ships' operators offered no immediate explanation on who or what caused the damage against the Norwegian-owned MT Front Altair and the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous.

"We are responsible for ensuring the security of the strait and we have rescued the crew of those attacked tankers in the shortest possible time".

It said the USS Bainbridge observed Iranian naval boats operating in the area in the hours after the explosions, and later removing the unexploded mine from the side of the Kokuka Courageous.

Washington pointed the finger at Tehran for Thursday's attacks that drove up oil prices and heightened concern about a new U.S.

The Supreme Leader also sent a stern message to Washington earlier yesterday, saying: "I do not consider Trump as a person worth exchanging any message with". The explosions from the mines were created to disable ships, not to sink them.

Iran was also blamed in the attack by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Iranian-US tensions ratcheted up after Trump pulled out of a deal past year between Iran and global powers to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions in exchange for relief from sanctions.

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