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Pompeo: Iran definitely responsible for attack on tankers

Mike Pompeo
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stood firm Sunday in his rhetoric about Iran, saying it is “unmistakable” that Tehran is responsible for what appeared to be attacks last week on oil tankers in the Arabian Gulf.
“It’s unmistakable what happened here,” Pompeo told Chris Wallace, host of “Fox News Sunday.” “These were attacks by the Islamic Republic of Iran on commercial shipping on the freedom of navigation with the clear intent to deny transit through the Strait,“ referring to the Strait of Hormuz.
Pompeo on Thursday blamed Tehran for the attacks of two oil tankers. He said his accusation was based “on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.”
On Sunday, Pompeo added that U.S. intelligence “has lots of data, lots of evidence,” that back up his claim.
“The world will come to see much of it, but the American people should rest assured we have high confidence with respect to who conducted these attacks, as well as half a dozen other attacks throughout the world over the past 40 days,” he said.
Also Sunday, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is accusing Iran of being behind the attacks on the vessels. However, Japanese crew members have said the vessels were hit by “flying objects,” not Iranian mines, as the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have said, and Japan has sought additional evidence on the incidents.
Pompeo said guaranteeing the ability to navigate freely through the strait where the oil tankers were hit is "an international challenge, important to the entire globe" and he is" confident that we will have partners that understand this threat."
"Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, these countries are very dependent on freedom of navigation throughout these straits and I'm confident that when they see the risk some of the risk of their own economies and their own people and outrageous behavior of the Islamic Republic of Iran, they will join us in the spirit," he said.
Pompeo did not discuss specifics of what kinds of actions the U.S. is considering taking toward Iran, but emphasized that "Iran will not get a nuclear weapon," and said that he and President Donald Trump "don't want a war." (Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear agreement last year.)
"We've done what we can to deter this," Pompeo said. "The Iranians should understand very clearly that we will continue to take actions that deter Iran from engaging in this kind of behavior.”
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