US Blames Iran for Attack on Tankers in Gulf of Oman
American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Iran "is responsible for the attacks" on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman earlier Thursday.
Pompeo said the United States made the judgement "based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, and recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping." He added that no other group "operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication."
Pompeo also said the U.S. would defend its forces and interests in the area but gave no details on any immediate plans.
In May, the U.S. sent an aircraft carrier battle group to the Persian Gulf in response to, what it said, were threats from Iran. The U.S. had accused Iran of using mines to attack four oil tankers near the port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates. Iran has denied any involvement.
However, Iran has repeatedly said it would block the Strait of Hormuz, near where the attacks happened, if it cannot sell its oil because of U.S. sanctions. About one third of the world's oil trade passes through the strait. News of the attack caused the price of oil to jump as much as 4%.
Iran has also warned that it is ready to break the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers that the Trump administration withdrew from last year. Under the deal reached with China, Russia, France, Germany, Britain and the U.S., Iran had agreed to limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.
The latest attacks happened as Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was meeting with Iranian leaders in an attempt to lower tensions in the area. Iran's leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned after the meeting that, while it does not seek nuclear weapons, "America could not do anything" to stop Iran if it did.
The attack took place one day after Iran-supported Houthi rebels in Yemen fired a missile at an airport in Saudi Arabia, injuring 26 people. The Houthis had also claimed an armed drone strike last month on Saudi oil pumping stations.
Saudi Arabia, which is fighting the Houthis, called Thursday's attack a "major escalation." Russia, one of Iran's main allies, urged caution, saying no one should rush to judgement about the attack or use it to put pressure on Tehran.
International Tanker Management operates the Front Altair, one of the damaged tankers. The company said that an explosion resulted in a fire on the tanker. Bernhard Schulte Ship management operates Kokuka Courageous, the other ship involved. That company said the hull of its tanker was damaged in a "suspected attack."
Iranian state television said 44 sailors from the two tankers were rescued by other ships in the area. They were then brought to an Iranian port in the southern area of Hormozgan.
I'm Jonathan Evans.
1.nuclear deal 核协议
They are all against the nuclear deal with Iran.
2.passes through 经过；穿过
An estimated 1600 vessels pass through the strait annually.
3.took place 发生
Another dust-up took place in the teahouse.
4.oil tankers 油轮
Tugs were sent to the damaged oil tankers.
5.No one should rush to judgement about the attack or use it to put pressure on Tehran..
put pressure on 对...施加压力
He may have put pressure on her to agree.
They put pressure on the Government to change its intransigent stance.
6.American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Iran "is responsible for the attacks" on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman earlier Thursday.
be responsible for 对...负责
The sun's ultraviolet rays are responsible for both tanning and burning.
We are all entirely responsible for our actions, and for our reactions.
蓬佩奥表示，美国做出这一判断是基于“获取的情报、袭击使用的武器、执行袭击所需的专业知识，以及近期伊朗对船只发动的类似袭击 。”他还说，该地区的其它组织不具备这种资源和熟练程度，来执行这种高难度的袭击 。
5月份，美国向波斯湾派遣了一支航母战斗群，以回应伊朗方面的威胁 。美国指责伊朗使用水雷袭击了阿联酋富查伊拉港附近的四艘油轮，伊朗否认参与袭击 。
然而，伊朗再三表示，若因美方制裁无法出售石油，该国将封锁袭击案附近的霍尔木兹海峡 。全球约三分之一的石油贸易要通过该海峡，袭击消息导致石油价格应声暴涨4% 。
伊朗还警告称，已做好撕毁2015年与世界大国签订的核协议的准备 。特朗普政府去年退出了该协议 。根据与中国、俄罗斯、法国、德国、英国和美国达成的协议，伊朗同意限制铀浓缩活动以换取解除经济制裁 。
这起袭击发生时，日本首相安倍晋三正与伊朗领导人会晤，试图缓和该地区的紧张局势 。伊朗领导人哈梅内伊在会晤后警告称，伊朗不寻求拥有核武器 。就算伊朗要这么做，美国也束手无策 。
这次袭击发生的前一天，伊朗支持的也门胡塞叛军向沙特一机场发射导弹，致26人受伤 。胡塞武装还宣称，上月利用武装无人机袭击了沙特的加油站 。
正在与胡塞武装作战的沙特称，周四的袭击是“重大升级 。”伊朗的主要盟国之一——俄罗斯督促各方谨慎行事，建议各国不要急于对袭击盖棺定论，或借此对伊朗施加压力 。
其中一艘受损油轮Front Altair号由国际油轮管理公司运营 。该公司表示，油轮起火为爆炸所致 。另一艘遇袭油轮Kokuka Courageous号由贝仕船舶管理公司负责 。该公司表示，其油轮船体可能在“疑似袭击”事件中受损 。