Tensions are rising over the latest attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. The USA is blaming Iran for the attacks. The vessels were hit by blasts while sailing near the strategically important Strait of Hormuz. The Strait is between Iran and the United Arab Emirates and around a fifth of the world's oil passes through it. The Strait is 68km at its narrowest point. The U.S. Secretary of State said Iran was behind the "blatant assault". He said the U.S. would defend itself and its allies against "Iranian aggression". However, he gave no evidence that Iran was behind the attacks.
It is the second time tankers have been attacked in the past month. Two Saudi tankers were hit in a UAE port last month. The U.S. says the recent tanker blasts were caused by mines. It showed a video of supposed Iranian forces removing an unexploded mine from one of the ships. Iran's Foreign Minister described the attacks as "suspicious". Iran's navy is investigating them. Iran called the U.S. accusations "unfounded" and "Iranophobic". The Japanese owner of one of the tankers said some kind of missile hit his ship, not a mine. The UN said the truth needed to be "clearly established".