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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insists Iran is behind tanker attacks: NPR

Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo closes his remarks on Thursday at the State Department.

Alex Brandon / AP

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Alex Brandon / AP

Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo closes his remarks on Thursday at the State Department.

Alex Brandon / AP

US. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo doubled Sunday's statement that Iran was responsible for attacks on two tankers traveling the Strait of Hormuz, despite not providing any new evidence after a video leaked by the Pentagon last week.

"There is no doubt," said Pompeo on Fox News Sunday. "The intelligence community has a lot of data, a lot of evidence, the world will see much of it, but the American people should be able to count on us to have great faith in the conduct of these attacks and in half a dozen other attacks around the world." the world. "

Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom have upheld the claim of the US, which Iran has vigorously denied.

The Norwegian-owned front Altair was set on fire Thursday after the US described a mines attack Sailors on a passing ship rescued the crew as black smoke rose from the tanker, and the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous had also been beaten, reported Tom Bowman of NPR, and early estimates suggested that the Ship hit by an external blast.

The Pentagon released a grainy video in which an Iranian crew detonated an unexploded mine from the Hull of one of the tankers removed.

Saudi Arabia has joined the United States un Teheran accused.

Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, known by his initials MBS, said his country will not hesitate to deal with threats to the Kingdom's interest, reports Deborah Amos of the NPR.

British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt said it was "pretty obvious" that Iran was to blame, adding, "We actually have video evidence showing what the Iranians did."

Iran has rejected the accusation. Peter Kenyon of the NPR reports that Tehran has summoned the British ambassador to protest London's attitude to tanker attacks.

Other Europeans were skeptical, including German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.

The US military also accused the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps of attempting to launch an American drone. The US claims the drone was watching one of the two tankers that had been attacked when Iran fired a ground rocket, but missed the drone, Kenyon reports of NPR.

In the last weeks six tankers were attacked in the gulf.

The attacks take place when Iran is exposed to renewed economic pressure from the US. President Trump retreated last year from the Iranian nuclear deal signed by President Obama in 2015, which lifted sanctions for Iran to curtail its nuclear program. Since then, the Trump government has again sanctioned and refused to extend the exemptions that allow other countries to import Iranian oil without US sanctions, said Bill Chappell of the NPR.

Associate political scientist Ariane Tabatabai of the RAND Corporation told Scott Simon of the NPR that if Iran were to blame it could be a retaliatory measure against the US measures.

"This is a way for Iranians to demonstrate that, if they pay the cost of sanctions and political isolation, they can actually begin to incur similar costs to the United States," she said.

High-ranking military officials have put their trust in the Pentagon video.

Admiral William J. Fallon, USCENTCOM's former commander, Rachel Martin, said the video was "very convincing to me … the video is pretty nailed."

Pompeo said Sunday, "We want no war ", but he also said that the US would guarantee freedom of movement on the Strait of Hormuz, an important thoroughfare for the global oil trade.

"This is an international challenge," Pompeo said of Fox. "This is important for the entire globe, and the United States will ensure that we take all necessary diplomatic and other measures to achieve that result."

He also defended the decision to carry out a US arms emergency sale to Saudi Arabia, bypassing the approval of Congress.

"These last 40 days show the malicious activity that endangers Saudis," said Pompeo. "Saudi Arabia has the right to defend itself, the United States wants to support our key defense partner in the region, and I think these arms sales were very meaningful in the future and we will continue to drive them forward."

David Welna of NPR reports that both Republicans and Democrats are trying to reverse the sale. Legislators say they are motivated by the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who, according to lawmakers, was led by senior riads. Legislators also refuse to militarily support the Saudi campaign in Yemen, which has led to a humanitarian disaster.

"I'm usually on the other side of this problem," said Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. "I have been very supportive of arms sales to our partners around the world, including Saudi Arabia, but the behavior of MBS is a cornerstone."

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