Twenty-three crew members from a Norwegian-owned oil tanker that was attacked in the Gulf of Oman have arrived safely in Dubai, the shipping company that owns the tanker said Saturday. In the following week, the U.S. President announced a further 1500 U.S. troops would be sent to the Middle East - in support forces already present within the region.
"This is one way for the Iranians to showcase that, if they're going to be paying the costs of sanctions and political isolation, that they can actually begin to impose similar costs on the United States", she said. "We actually have video evidence that shows what the Iranians have been doing".
Russian Federation warned against "baseless accusations" and a "sober appraisal of evidence" after Iran and the United States traded charges over the reported attacks on commercial tankers in the Gulf of Oman.
Asked about the possibility of a USA military response, Pompeo told Fox News that it's China and China's neighbors facing a significant threat to their energy supplies due to the instability near the Strait of Hormuz. He called the alleged shipping attacks "an worldwide challenge, important to the entire globe".
In a statement, the Foreign Office said "no other state or non-state actor could plausibly have been responsible" for the incident.
Iran has dismissed the accusation.
The top USA diplomat said the United States does not want war with Tehran, but it will ensure passage through the chokepoint that links the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman, a hook-shaped body of water through which as much as a third of the world's oil supply is shipped.
The Front Altair was one of two ships attacked in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday.
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Associate political scientist Ariane Tabatabai at RAND Corporation told NPR's Scott Simon that if Iran is to blame, it could be retaliating against the USA measures.
On June 13th 2019, images of two burning oil tankers in the waters of the Gulf of Oman - literally reignited - tensions between regional Gulf states and worldwide powers including the United States, the United Kingdom and Iran.
Iran has denied any involvement in the twin attacks.
Iran has repeatedly warned in the past that it could block the strategic Hormuz Strait in a relatively low-tech, high-impact countermeasure to any attack by the US.
Ali Larijani, speaker of Iran's parliament, accused Washington of staging the tanker attacks "after the failure of its harsh sanctions" on Tehran, according to the official IRNA news agency.
Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said "there must be a rapid and decisive response to the threat" to energy supplies, market stability and consumer confidence after the attacks in the Gulf area, the Saudi Energy Ministry reported on Twitter.
Tensions between Iran and the United States have risen since US President Donald Trump pulled out of a deal previous year between Iran and global powers that aimed to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions in exchange for sanctions relief.
Prices had jumped as much as 4.5pc on Thursday after the attacks on two oil tankers near Iran and the Strait of Hormuz.