U.S. blames Iran for attacks on tankers in Gulf of Oman

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that the U.S. government blames Iran for attacks on two oil tankers — including one operated by a Tokyo-based company — in the Gulf of Oman, casting it as the latest in a series of “provocative actions” that have sharply raised tensions in the region.

The tankers were attacked Thursday near the strategically important Strait of Hormuz, pushing up oil prices and fueling concerns about further tensions in the Middle East.

Pompeo said Iran “insulted Japan” by attacking the Japanese-owned vessel, the Kokuka Courageous, at the time of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s landmark visit to Iran for talks with the country’s leaders aimed at defusing tensions between Tehran and Washington.