Saudi Arabia sides with United States: blames Iran for tanker attack

Persian Gulf Tensions

Mariners from the MT Front Altair arrive at Dubai International Airport More

The US has also blamed Iran for a similar attack on four oil tankers last month that occurred in the Gulf of Oman, claims Iran also denies.

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The sources revealed that the deployment of additional Patriot air defence system, fighter jets and ships could contribute to the "deterrence and defence against Iran".

Speaking to "Fox News Sunday", U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo placed his emphasis on diplomatic collaboration, reiterating Iran was responsible for the recent attacks on two tankers near the Strait of Hormuz.

For other states seeking to play a backchannel role between the USA and Iran-such as Germany, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Russia, and Switzerland-Abe's experience is yet just another reminder of how hard it is to help bridge the gap between the White House and Iran's leaders. As tensions between the USA and Iran have deepened since the re-imposition of sanctions against Iran, Tehran has several times threatened to close off the Strait of Hormuz if pushed too far. A military response, he did not rule out explicitly, but stressed: "We do not want war".

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Many analysts are anxious that unintended incidents and miscalculations between Washington and Tehran might ultimately trigger military conflicts.

Last Thursday's attack on two tankers - the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous and the Norwegian-operated Front Altair - came around the time Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was meeting Iranian leaders in Teheran.

The crew of the tankers of 44, including 11 Russian nationals, were transferred to the Iranian port city of Jask.

Tehran has said that if its oil exports were halted, it could block the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow channel of water separating Iran and Oman through which a fifth of the oil consumed globally passes. The other vessel was a Japanese-owned tanker carrying chemicals.

The Saudi crown prince went on to reiterate his support for the re-imposition of the U.S. sanctions against Iran.

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Iran would never resort to deception or covert operations, unlike what the "terrorist and deceptive" Americans -who have made the world insecure- and their regional and global cronies are doing, he added. "I am confident that we will have partners that understand this threat", Pompeo said.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said it is "pretty obvious" Iran is to blame, adding, "we actually have video evidence that shows what the Iranians have been doing".

We have briefed the President a couple of times, we'll continue to keep him updated.

President Trump has said that he does not believe any Iranian effort to close the Strait of Hormuz would last long.

Tensions in the Gulf have remained close to breaking point as the US places maximum economic pressure on Iran in an attempt to force the Iranian government to reopen talks regarding the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan for Action nuclear deal, which the USA pulled out of previous year.

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