Attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman that occurred on June 13 have sent tensions soaring between Iran and the United States, and reinforced fears that the two countries could be hurtling toward an unintended war.
It was discovered that the two oil tankers that were shot were carrying petrochemical raw materials related to Japan when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned of unintended clashes in the crisis-hit Middle East after meeting the Iranian president in Tehran on Wednesday. Some say that Prime Minister Abe’s efforts to mediate between the two countries have failed.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described the incident as a “blatant assault” and said the U.S. had concluded Iran was responsible for targeting the Norwegian-owned and Japanese-owned ships along the vital oil transit route near the strategic Strait of Hormuz. Pompeo cited intelligence reporting, recent similar incidents and the sophisticated nature of the attacks.
Mr. Pompeo said the U.S. assessment that Iran was behind the attacks 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.”
Less than a day after the shooting of the tanker, the U.S. government concluded that the attack was Iran’s work or at least Iran’s attack.
Reuters later quoted a government official as saying that the U.S. released a video showing Iran removing “ship-mounted mines” that did not explode in terms of Japanese oil tankers.
Iran has denied any involvement in the incident, with its foreign minister suggesting that the US was quick to make allegations “without a shred of evidence.”
Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif, said on Friday on Twitter that the United States accused Iran without “a shred of factual or circumstantial evidence,” seizing on the attacks to “sabotage diplomacy” as it waged economic warfare on the country
Iran also denied the allegations in advance immediately after the incident.
Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei expressed “concern and sorrow” over the incident, saying other nations would benefit from instability in the region.
The New York Times also reported that the details of the incident are unclear following last month’s oil tanker attack, adding that the U.S. Congress, public opinion and the allies’ pressure on the Trump administration to come up with concrete evidence of the Iranian threat is growing.
As the U.S. and Iran clash head-on again over the latest oil tanker attack, the Gulf Coast is facing another round of sharp tension following the attack on four oil tankers a month ago.
In particular, the shooting of four oil tankers on April 12 was only enough to stop the ship from sailing, but the latest shooting is so damaging that black smoke soared and crew members escaped urgently that the two countries are likely to face a more intense dispute of responsibility.
Even after the shooting, there was an unrelenting battle between the U.S. and Iran that Iran, which was surrounded by sanctions, carried out an attack to raise oil prices, and that the U.S. was making false claims to build a cause for sending troops to the Middle East.
The New York Times reported that the shooting, which has already been unstable due to escalating conflict between some of the U.S. and its allies and Iran, has caused tensions to soar on the key transportation routes of a significant amount of the world’s crude oil.
U.N. Secretary-General Antony Guterres called for stability in the Middle East, saying he “strongly condemns the attack on civilian oil tankers.”
It is also noteworthy that the shooting took place during Abe’s visit to Iran, saying that he would try to resolve the conflict between the U.S. and Iran.
Abe met with Iranian President Hassan Rowhani the previous day and met with Iran’s top leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei earlier in the day.
Abe met with Ayatollah Khamenei after hearing a message from his close friend, President Donald Trump, only to hear the answer: “Iran doesn’t trust the U.S. at all.”
Abe’s meditation efforts were basically futile as the negative response from Iran and the shooting of two oil tankers occurred.
Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif also tweeted that the suspicious attack on a tanker carrying cargo related to Japan took place while Abe was discussing broad cooperation with Iran’s top leader.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he appreciated the recent visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Iran to meet leaders, but that he believed it is “too soon to even think about” the United States making a deal with Tehran.
“They are not ready, and neither are we!” Trump said in a tweet.
This suggests that the U.S. and Iran may continue to confront each other rather than try to resolve the conflict.
“I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.””
Lord, the conflicts between Iran and the US are getting deeper. America that represents the western world and Iran that represents the Islam are in the midst of the clash and it is affecting the world situation.
We want the Iranians to trust the Lord who is our refuge and fortress even though this conflict is not getting any better. May Iran come before our Lord our Savior instead of being involved with war.
May the Iranian church that showed the fastest growing rate of evangelization truly trust in God and share the gospel especially in this unstable situation.
We desire for the Korean church and global church to rise as they cry out and intercede on behalf of Iranians and their current situation. May the global church truly be the one that serves them with God’s love and share the gospel to those who are like the robbed ones.