US warns UN of 'clear threat' from Iran after tanker attacks
The US on Thursday (June 13th) called on the UN Security Council to confront a "clear threat" posed by Tehran, after Washington said Iran was behind an attack on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, AFP reported Friday.
The council met behind closed doors to hear US acting Ambassador Jonathan Cohen present a briefing on Washington's assessment that Iran was responsible for the suspected attack on two tankers in the strategic sea lane.
The attacks, which came a month after a similar incident targeting four tankers off the coast of the UAE, "demonstrate the clear threat that Iran poses to international peace and security”, Cohen said.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday accused Iran of being behind the attacks.
"This is 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," Pompeo said.
Washington's assessment that Iran was the culprit was not shared by other council members, who noted that there was no clear evidence linking Tehran to the attacks, diplomats said.
Kuwait's Ambassador Mansour al-Otaibi said many council members called for an investigation to determine the facts.
"We would like to know who was behind this incident," he said after the meeting.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the facts should be established but warned against stoking conflict.
"If there is something the world cannot afford, it is a major confrontation in the Gulf region," he told an earlier council meeting on UN co-operation with the Arab League.