Iran denies being involved in suspected attacks targeting two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, as tension remains high between Washington and Tehran.
Iranian officials released a statement in response to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s suggestion the Islamic Republic is responsible for the attack.
According to the statement, “Iran stands ready to play an active and constructive role in ensuring the security of strategic maritime passages as well as promoting peace, stability and security in the region.”
The statement went on to say the nation “categorically rejects” the notion it is responsible for the suspected attacks.
Iran also called on other countries in the region to participate in “active and constructive engagement” in an effort to thaw rising tension.
The statement comes shortly after Pompeo made an announcement on Thursday claiming the Islamic Republic is responsible for the suspected attacks.
While I very much appreciate P.M. Abe going to Iran to meet with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, I personally feel that it is too soon to even think about making a deal. They are not ready, and neither are we!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2019
Pompeo addressed the incident while speaking to reporters Thursday saying, “It is the assessment by the United States government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today.”
The secretary of state continued by saying, “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 by Iran.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. military released footage on Friday allegedly showing the Iranian Revolutionary Guard removing a limpet mine, which was not yet detonated, from one of the oil tankers involved in the incident.
Officials claim this suggests Iran was trying to get rid of evidence clarifying its involvement in the suspected attacks.
U.S. military in the region rushed to the scene following the incident on Thursday, although it is still unclear what spurred it.