U.S. says Iran took mine off tanker; Iran denies involvement

U.S. says Iran took mine off tanker; Iran denies involvement

U.S. says Iran took mine off tanker; Iran denies involvement

Oil prices jumped on Thursday after news of the tanker attacks broke, but prices have been weighed down during the week by fears of slowing oil demand growth and rising us inventories, and are on track for a weekly loss. "They're in deep, deep trouble", Trump said.

Donald Trump said the attacks had "Iran written all over it", while USA defence officials claimed the mainly Russian crew of one of the ships, the Norwegian-owned Front Altair, had been detained.

For their part, the U.S. and United Kingdom immediately blamed Iran for the assault.

Adding to the allegations was the UK's Foreign Minister, Jeremy Hunt that recently confirmed to start their own assessment with the United States view of Iran being the hand behind the incident, as per the BBC report.

He accused Washington of seeking to "sabotage diplomacy" as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Iran.

The attacks require the worldwide community to scramble to protect regional stability and security, the United Arab Emirates' Minister of State for Foreign Affairs said Thursday.

Iran denied any role in Thursday's apparent attacks, which have again roiled the Persian Gulf amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington over the unraveling nuclear deal with world powers.

"If the hostility of enemies increase, we will be able to do so", Iran's armed forces chief of staff, Mohammad Bagheri, told semi-official ISNA in April.

US Ambassador Jonathan Cohen told reporters after the Security Council meeting that "the US will continue its diplomatic and economic efforts to bring Iran to the negotiating table".

"The crew told us something came flying at the ship, and they found a hole", Katada said. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

Speaking at a news conference Friday, Katada noted that the tanker's hull was hit well above the waterline, NHK says, "and that chances are slim that a mine or a torpedo was involved".

But Yutaka Katada, owner of the Kokuka Courageous, cast doubt on part of the United States account, telling reporters on Friday that the vessel's crew saw a "flying object" before a second blast on the boat. Joshua Frey, a 5th Fleet spokesman.

"We hope all relevant parties remain calm and exercise restraint and avoid tensions further escalating, and hope all sides can jointly safeguard navigational safety in the relevant waters and regional peace and stability".

"Neither fabrications and disinformation campaigns nor shamelessly blaming others can change the realities", the Iranian mission said in a statement. He called reports of a mine attack "false".

There was no claim of responsibility for the blasts, which struck both tankers at the waterline.

"This is an ongoing process, and we will get to the bottom of it and we will hold those responsible accountable", al-Jubeir said about the October 2018 murder of The Washington Post columnist. Iranian small boats could have, and likely did, lob projectiles towards the ship and planted mines on it. The mines disable, but don't sink, a vessel. Pompeo said the attack was tantamount to Iran insulting Japan as Abe was trying to seek peace. He didn't elaborate and took no questions.

The United States also blames Iran for two drone strikes on Saudi oil-pumping stations.

Al Jazeera's Dorsa Jabbari, reporting from Tehran, said the latest U.S. moves were aimed at forcing Iran to negotiate a new deal that would also address its ballistic missiles programme as well as support for armed groups in the region. Now, Iran is threatening to resume enriching uranium closer to weapons-grade levels if European nations don't offer it new terms to the deal by July 7.

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