Two Oil Tankers Bombed at Sea near Strait of Hormuz
Today June 13, 2019 two oil tankers, one Japanese and one Norwegian, in the Gulf of Oman exploded at sea, believed to be caused by undetected mines that were planted on the ships (1). Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said “[i]t is the assessment of the U.S. government that Iran is responsible for today’s attacks in the Gulf of Oman” (2). Foreign minister and diplomat of Iran, Javad Zarif, responded to the attacks, emphasizing how they “occurred while [Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo] was meeting with Ayatollah [Ali Khamenei] for extensive and friendly talks… [and categorizing the attacks as] Suspicious doesn’t begin to describe what likely transpired this morning” (3). During this meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister, the Ayatollah had told the Prime Minister that Iran “will not and should not make, hold or use nuclear weapons, and that it has no such intentions” but that he does “not consider Trump as a person worth exchanging any message with” (4). President Trump answered on Twitter, saying he feels “that it is too soon to even think about making a deal” with Iran, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated that it is the United States’ goal to continue diplomatic efforts “to bring Iran back to the negotiating table at the right time” (5,6). No one is believed to have been injured in the attack (7).