Saudi crown prince accuses rival Iran of tanker attacks

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt leaves 10 Downing Street in London

The US has sought to back up its claims, releasing footage on Friday said to show an unexploded mine being removed from one of the tankers by Iranian special forces.

Trump previous year withdrew the USA from an worldwide agreement, signed in 2015 by President Barack Obama, to limit Iran's nuclear program. Iran also denied those accusations.

The Norwegian-owned oil tanker was attacked Thursday, June 13, in the Gulf of Oman.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday that if Iran blocks the Strait of Hormuz, "it's not going to be closed for long", but did not elaborate.

Iran, however, has denied responsibility and says any evidence that it was involved was planted.

"We always urge a sober appraisal of the situation and to wait for more or less convincing evidence to appear", Peskov said on Russian television, extracts of which were published by the RIA Novosti news agency.

Foreign minister Jeremy Hunt said on Sunday Britain was "almost certain" Iran was behind attacks, adding that London did not believe anyone else could have done it.

In a new allegation on Saturday, the USA military accused Iranian Revolutionary Guard troops of trying but failing to shoot down a United States drone to disrupt surveillance of the tankers during the attacks.

The crew of the Front Altair, who had been picked up by Iranian boats, departed Iran from Bandar Abbas airport to Dubai International Airport on Saturday, the ship's operator Frontline said.

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Iran was behind what he described as the latest in a series of "unprovoked attacks". "Subsequent analysis indicates that this was a likely attempt to shoot down or otherwise disrupt the MQ-9 surveillance of the IRGC attack on the M/T Kokuka Courageous". "We understand the Middle East, we have a number of allies there as well", he told Sky News.

The Front Altair caught fire after the attack Thursday, sending a thick cloud of black smoke visible even by satellite from space.

Larijiani claims the US had conducted the attacks after its economic sanctions failed to achieve their goals on Iran. Yahia al-Sarie, a Houthi spokesman, said their drones targeted airports in Jizan and Abha in Saudi Arabia.

Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said the United States was "planning various contingencies" when asked if more military forces would be sent to the area, but added that the focus was on building an global consensus.

Oil prices have climbed 3.4% since Thursday's attacks.

"There must be a swift and decisive response to the threat against energy supplies. created by the recent terrorist acts in the Arabian Gulf", Khalid al-Falih was quoted as saying on the ministry's Twitter page.

After the May 12 attacks, in which a Norwegian-registered tanker was also hit, the UAE launched an investigation in cooperation with the United States, Saudi Arabia, Norway and France, which has a naval base in Abu Dhabi.

But many of their companies have canceled deals with Tehran, under pressure from the United States.

A damaged Japanese tanker arrived Sunday at a UAE anchorage site after it was rocked by explosions in Gulf waters as Saudi Arabia accused arch-rival Iran of being behind the attack.

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