Iran denies 'baseless' US accusation of being behind Gulf of Oman attacks

The attacks came as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in Iran seeking to defuse tensions between Washington and the Islamic Republic.

Published: 14th June 2019 11:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th June 2019 11:32 AM   |  A+A-

A methanol tanker came under fire in the Gulf of Oman on June 13 but all crew were saved after abandoning ship. (Photo| AFP)

By PTI

Iran's foreign ministry Friday dismissed as "baseless" US accusations of being behind attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, adding Washington was trying to "sabotage diplomacy".

The US had "immediately jumped to make allegations against Iran --(without) a shred of factual or circumstantial evidence," Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a tweet.

That showed it was "abundantly clear that the #B_Team is moving to a #PlanB: Sabotage diplomacy -- including by @AbeShinzo -- and cover up its #EconomicTerrorism against Iran".

Zarif regularly uses the term "B Team" to refer to US National Security Advisor John Bolton as well as Israel's prime minister, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who are all pushing a hard line on Tehran.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran of being behind Thursday's attacks which left at least one of the tankers ablaze off the Iranian coast, while the crews had to abandon ship.

"It is the assessment of the United States that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks," Pompeo told reporters.

But Iran foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi hit back that Iran had come to "help" the ships in distress and "saved" their crew as quickly as possible, according to a statement published on his Telegram channel.

Pompeo said there was strong evidence of Iran's culpability "based on the intelligence, the weapons used, the level expertise needed to execute the operation" and only Iran in the region had the ability to undertake such an operation.

"Apparently for Mr. Pompeo and other American authorities accusing Iran is the easiest thing to do," said Mousavi, insisting Iran was upholding the burden of securing the key Strait of Hormuz.

The attacks came as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in Iran seeking to defuse tensions between Washington and the Islamic Republic.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp