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U.S. blames Iran for oil tanker attacks

Mike Pompeo: Iran is responsible for attacks in Gulf of Oman
WATCH:  Iran is responsible for attacks in Gulf of Oman, Pompeo says

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is blaming Iran for recent attacks on oil tankers after two ships were attacked in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday.

Iran has rejected that as an “unfounded claim,” however.

READ MORE: Two oil tankers attacked as tensions escalate over Gulf of Oman shipping lane

“No proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication,” he said Thursday.

WATCH: Iran represents a threat to international security, Pompeo says

Mike Pompeo: Iran represents a threat to international security
Mike Pompeo: Iran represents a threat to international security

“This is only the latest in a series of attacks, instigated by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its surrogates, against American and Allied interests.”

Pompeo outlined a series of events he said were carried out by Iran or by its surrogates, including a drone attack on oil pipelines, a rocket that landed near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, a car bomb in Afghanistan and a missile strike on Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport.

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“Taken as a whole, these unprovoked attacks present a clear threat to international peace and security, a blatant assault on the freedom of navigation, and an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension from Iran,” Pompeo continued.

Pompeo’s remarks come amid an escalating conflict between the U.S. and Iran that was sparked following Washington abandoning the Iran anti-nuclear agreement last year.

READ MORE: How oil tanker attacks in Oman affect gas prices in Canada

Iran has repeatedly warned it would block the Strait of Hormuz, near where the attacks happened, if it cannot sell its oil due to U.S. sanctions.

On Thursday, as Japan’s prime minister was in Iran visiting with officials, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that it’s “too soon to even think about making a deal.”

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WATCH: Suspected attacks on oil tankers in Gulf of Oman

Suspected attacks on oil tankers in Gulf of Oman
Suspected attacks on oil tankers in Gulf of Oman

“They are not ready, and neither are we!” he said.

No one has claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attacks.

In a statement, the Iranian mission to the UN said the country “categorically rejects the U.S. unfounded claim with regard to 13 June oil tanker incidents and condemns it in the strongest possible terms.”

With files from Reuters and Rebecca Joseph