U.S. Central Command said damage from the explosion (left arrow) and a limpet mine (right arrow) are seen Thursday on the hull of the civilian vessel M/V Kokuka Courageous in the Gulf of Oman. Photo by U.S. Navy/UPI | License Photo
June 14 (UPI) -- Iran warned the United States Friday against blaming Tehran for new attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, saying the U.S. accusations are "worrying."
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday's attacks were a "blatant assault" that threatened international peace and represented an unacceptable escalation by Iran. U.S. officials also released a video, which they said shows an Iranian naval boat removing an unexploded mine from one of the ships.
Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi denied responsibility Friday.
"The suspicious nature of incidents for oil tanker is not a joke," Mousavi said. "It is not only not funny, but it is also worrying and alarming. It seems that for Mr. Pompeo and other American statesmen, accusing Iran in the suspicious and unfortunate incident for tankers is the most convenient and simplistic."
The attacks coincided with a trip by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Iran, where he met with Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei in a failed attempt to calm rising tensions between Tehran and Washington.
"While Japan's prime minister is meeting with the number one figure of the Islamic Republic of Iran to reduce tensions, which clandestine hands seek to undermine these efforts in the region who benefit from it?" Mousavi asked.
He added that Iran was the first to send help after the ships were attacked.
"The responsibility for ensuring the security of the Strait of Hormuz lies with the Islamic Republic of Iran, and we have shown that we have been able to help the sailors of the crashed ships and rescue them as quickly as possible."
The Iranian mission to the United Nations also rejected Pompeo's accusation.
"Neither fabrications and disinformation campaigns nor shamelessly blaming others can change the realities," the Iranian mission said in a statement. "The U.S. and its regional allies must stop warmongering and put an end to mischievous plots as well as false flag operations in the region."
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani added Friday, at the Council of Heads of States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Council in Singapore, the United States has disrupted international order.
"For the past two years, the U.S. government has used its economic, financial and military power through an aggressive approach to disrupt all international structures and regulations, which has turned him into a serious threat for the stability of the region and the world," he said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping also spoke at the conference Friday, and said Beijing is ready to join Tehran in a bilateral strategic partnership.
"[China is] willing to join hands with the Iranian side in fostering a continuous and steady development of the China-Iran comprehensive strategic partnership," he said.
Xi also said Beijing supports saving the Iran nuclear deal, even without the United States -- a position that's also been taken recently by Germany, France and Britain.