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Iran and Saudi Arabia trade accusations over tanker attacks

dpa correspondents, DPA on

Published in News & Features

LONDON/TEHRAN -- Iran and its regional arch rival Saudi Arabia traded accusations on Sunday over who carried out the recent attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani said he suspected the United States was behind Thursday's attacks, according to state news agency IRNA.

But Washington and London insisted they had evidence to back their claims that Tehran was responsible for the attacks.

"These were attacks by the Islamic Republic of Iran on commercial shipping, on the freedom of navigation, with a clear intent to deny transit through the strait," US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Fox News.

"There's no doubt. The intelligence community has lots of data, lots of evidence; the world will come to see much of it," Pompeo said.

He said the US does not want war with Iran but hopes the fact that it is "considering a full range of options" will persuade Iranian leaders to negotiate.

 

Larijani rejected Washington's accusation that Iran was to blame for explosions on the tankers, saying the US appeared to have resorted to staging attacks after its sanctions on Iran had failed.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also blamed Iran for the attacks.

Iran deliberately attacked the ships, including the Japanese tanker the Kokuka Courageous, which was hit during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Tehran, Salman told the Al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper.

He urged the international community to take a "decisive stand," the pan-Arab publication reported.

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