The United States says it will "guarantee freedom of navigation" for shipping through the Strait of Hormuz through diplomatic talks or military intervention, contending again that it was "unmistakable" that Iran launched last week's attacks on two tankers sailing through the narrow passage.
"These were attacks by the Islamic Republic of Iran on commercial shipping on the freedom of navigation with the clear intent to deny transit through the Strait," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News Sunday.
The top U.S. diplomat said the United States does not want war with Tehran, but it will ensure passage through the chokepoint that links the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman, a hook-shaped body of water through which as much as a third of the world's oil supply is shipped.
"The United States is going to make sure that we take all the actions necessary, diplomatic and otherwise, that achieve that outcome," he told Fox.
Pompeo told another Sunday news talk show, CBS News' Face the Nation, that military intervention would be employed if necessary.
Iran has rejected the U.S. accusation it is responsible for the attacks on the Norwegian and Japanese ships, one transporting oil and the other chemicals.
The president of the Japanese company operating the Kokuka Courageous tanker said he saw something fly toward the vessel and did not believe the ship was attacked by a mine or torpedo.
Source : VOA