14:48 GMT +314 December 2019
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    A handout photo made available by the Norwegian shipowner Frontline of the crude oil tanker Front Altair during the firefighting of the fire onboard the ship in the Gulf of Oman

    Pompeo's Accusations Iran is Responsible for Tanker Attacks in Gulf of Oman 'Alarming'

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    Attack on Tankers in Gulf of Oman (61)
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    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo previously claimed that Tehran was behind Thursday's attacks on two tanker vessels in the Gulf of Oman, saying that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources to carry out such an operation.

    "We are in charge of maintaining security of the Strait and we rescued the crew of those attacked tankers in the shortest possible time ... US Secretary of State [Mike] Pompeo's accusations towards Iran are alarming", Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said, addressing the incident.

    READ MORE: International Association of Tanker Owners Claims No Pollution Occurred in Gulf of Oman

    The tankers Front Altair and Kokuka Courageous were hit by explosions in the Gulf of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz a day earlier. Washington immediately blamed Iran for the incident, sending US Navy destroyers to the area to provide assistance. Tehran, meanwhile, has firmly denied the allegations, saying the claims are unfounded.

    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he had previously warned that the US would "sabotage diplomacy", stressing that Washington jumped to making allegations without any evidence, escalating conflict between the countries.

    Iranian rescue services saved 44 sailors from the tankers and took them to the port of Jask, according to the IRNA news agency.

    Following the incident near the Strait of Hormuz, which is a route for one-third of the world's shipped oil deliveries, the price of oil has spiked over 4.5%, with Brent crude hitting $62.64 per barrel and US crude touching $53.45.

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    Attack on Tankers in Gulf of Oman (61)
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