Thursday, June 20th, 2019

US blames Iran for attacks on oil tankers

  • 13 June 2019

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionIranian TV footage shows a burning tanker

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has blamed Iran for a “blatant assault” on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

He said the US had made its assessment based on intelligence about the type of weapons used.

A senior Iranian official earlier told the BBC “Iran has no connection” with the explosions on Thursday morning.

Dozens of crew members were rescued after explosions on the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous and the Front Altair, owned by Norway.

The suspected attack in one of the world’s busiest oil routes comes a month after four oil tankers were attacked off the United Arab Emirates.

No group or country has admitted the incident in May, which also caused no casualties.

The US at the time blamed Iran – but Tehran denied the accusations.

Oil prices jumped as much as 4% after Thursday’s incident.

The Gulf of Oman lies at one end of the strategic Strait of Hormuz – a vital shipping lane through which hundreds of millions of dollars of oil pass.