‘LASHING OUT’

Secretary of State Pompeo Blames Iran for Gulf of Oman Oil Tanker Attacks

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday blamed Iran for the attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. “It is the assessment of the United States government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks in the Gulf of Oman,” Pompeo told reporters Thursday afternoon, adding that the country was also responsible for a series of other attack in recent months. “...These unprovoked attacks present a clear threat to international peace and security, a blatant assault on the freedom of navigation, and an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension by Iran.” Pompeo said the country was “lashing out” because it wanted the “successful, maximum pressure campaign” the U.S. imposed to be lifted. “The U.S. will defend its forces, interests, and stand with our partners and allies to safeguard global commerce and regional stability,” he said. The New York Times reported that the two oil tankers, owned by companies from Norway and Japan, were attacked Thursday morning—leaving one ship on fire and forcing crews to abandon ship.