[size=32]Trump warns Iran: Strait of Hormuz will not close
- 5 Hours Ago
LONDON (Reuters) - The United States made a firmer stand this time after Iran repeatedly targeted oil supplies in the Gulf of Oman. President Trump appeared more clear when he warned Iranians that oil supplies would not stop and that no one could close the Strait of Hormuz for "long periods".
This comes as countries such as Russia and Germany sought to calm and urge to wait for the results of the investigation into Thursday's attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. The Sultanate of Oman also seemed alarmed by the Iranian escalation, which was aimed at depriving it of the role of effective mediator between Tehran and Washington.
On Friday, the US president blamed Iran for the attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday. This came in an interview with Fox and Friend on Fox News.
"Iran carried out the attack and you know it because you saw the boat," Trump said, referring to the boat, which appeared in a video posted by the US military and said a group of Iranian Revolutionary Guards was removing an unexploded mine from one of the two carriers.
"The United States takes what happened seriously." He also issued a clear warning to Iran that no one could close the Strait of Hormuz, which is a vital passage for world oil supplies.
"They will not close it, it will not close, it will not close for a long time and they know it. They have been informed in the strongest terms. "
Observers say that the Trump administration this time raised the roof of its position on the Iranian attacks and seemed to respond to previous accusations of hesitation and confusion, which benefit Tehran in targeting oil tankers and endanger the security of navigation.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters in Washington on Thursday that he accused Tehran of being behind the targeting of oil tankers, adding that the recent events "represent a clear threat to international peace and security, a flagrant attack on freedom of navigation and an escalation of tensions by Iran is unacceptable."
Despite the change in the American tone towards the Iranian attacks, experts and political analysts rule out Washington's move to practical steps to respond to the challenge posed by the Revolutionary Guards and cells tasked with disrupting the oil export movement as a direct response to US sanctions aimed at preventing Tehran from exporting its oil.
Richard Spencer, in the British daily The Times, is likening Thursday's attack to a direct message from Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who was and still threatens to respond to US sanctions.
He says that if Thursday's bombing is Khamenei's response, it is a harsh response that suggests a sharp and terrible refusal to negotiate with the Americans.
But Adrian Bloomfield, a writer for The Daily Telegraph, warns that it is wrong to rule out war based on the conclusion that Iran will be rational in its actions, while Trump has filled the region with its naval forces in an effort to prevent Iran from selling oil.
Bloomfield said that although Iran has learned for 40 years that it does not have the military or financial power to stand up to the "Great Satan", it has sought to compete strategically with Washington. This included arming militias ready to wage a guerrilla war with US allies such as Hezbollah, Hamas and the Houthis, and secretly working on a program Washington believes was designed to build a nuclear bomb.
Russia on Friday urged "restraint" and "not to draw hasty conclusions" until "the completion of a comprehensive and impartial international investigation."
For its part, Germany said that the photo shoot published by the US military is not enough to blame Iran. The European Union and China appealed to all parties for restraint.
For his part, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi called for efforts to achieve "calm", during a telephone conversation with the US Secretary of State on Friday.
On the other hand, there was a clear confusion over the position of the Sultanate of Oman from recent events in the Gulf, which reflected Iranian insistence on escalation. Gulf sources noted that for the first time, the Sultanate spoke through a foreign ministry source of "great interest" in the events of Yemen and the attack on Abha Civil Airport in Saudi Arabia.
Omani television also reported that the Sultanate had sent two rescue vessels belonging to its navy to assist in search and rescue operations following the attack on two ships in the Sea of Oman.
The two positions revealed a clear desire to defend the Omani role at a time when events in the region appeared to be heading for further deterioration and escalation, while the US administration insisted on pursuing the policy of imposing sanctions on the Iranian economy.
Gulf sources explained that the Omani confusion is due to several reasons, particularly the special relationship between the Sultanate and Iran, which allowed Oman to play the role of mediator between Tehran and Washington.
She pointed out that the insistence of certain quarters in Tehran on the escalation through the Houthi bombing of Abha airport in southern Saudi Arabia or by attacking tankers in the Gulf, in an area not far from the Strait of Hormuz, increases the confusion of Oman.
The only meaning of the escalation was that Oman was losing its traditional role between America and Iran. In addition, the Huthi attack on a civilian airport in Saudi Arabia indicates that the remaining influence of the Sultanate on the Houthis no longer exists.
The sources noted that the Sultanate of Oman can no longer go away in antagonizing the majority in the Gulf Cooperation Council and playing the role of birds that are outside its circle, especially as it has always been keen to present itself as a responsible and realistic state at the same time. The special link between the Sultanate of Oman and Israel on the one hand, and the increase in the US military presence in the Omani territories, on the other hand, were highlighted.