Zarif says U.S. jumps to blame Iran for tanker incidents ‘without a shred of factual evidence’ 

June 14, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday accused Washington of jumping “to make allegations against Iran without a shred of factual or circumstantial evidence” as two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday blamed Iran for the explosions on the oil tankers.

Two oil tankers — the Norwegian-owned Front Altair and the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous — suffered significant damage after experiencing explosions while they were traveling near the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s busiest sea lane for oil shipments. Crews were forced to abandon ship and leave the vessels adrift in waters between Arab states and Iran.

The attack took place exactly the day Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran.

Earlier, Iran’s mission to the United Nations said in a statement: “Iran categorically rejects the U.S. unfounded claim with regard to 13 June oil tanker incidents and condemns it in the strongest possible terms.”

Writing on his Twitter page, Zarif said this time the “B-Team” has launched a “sabotage diplomacy” against Iran.

The so-called B-Team refers to a group that includes U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed.

Zarif had previously said the B-Team was trying to lure U.S. President Donald Trump into a war with Tehran.

Zarif said the B-Team is moving to sabotage diplomacy to cover up “economic terrorism” against Iran.

In an earlier Tweet on Thursday, Zarif had said attack on “Japan-related” tanker occurred while Abe was meeting with Ayatollah Khamenei “for extensive and friendly talks”.

The chief diplomat added these incidents reinforce the need that “Iran's proposed Regional Dialogue Forum is imperative”. 

PA/PA

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