[ti:US Blames Iran for Attack on Tankers in Gulf of Oman]
[00:00.04]American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
[00:03.40]says Iran "is responsible for the attacks" on two oil tankers
[00:08.94]in the Gulf of Oman earlier Thursday.
[00:13.12]Pompeo said the United States made the judgement
[00:17.24]"based on intelligence, the weapons used,
[00:20.64]the level of expertise needed to execute the operation,
[00:24.84]and recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping."
[00:30.20]He added that no other group "operating in the area
[00:34.24]has the resources and proficiency
[00:37.12]to act with such a high degree of sophistication."
[00:42.40]Pompeo also said the U.S. would defend its forces
[00:46.92]and interests in the area but gave no details on any immediate plans.
[00:53.92]In May, the U.S. sent an aircraft carrier battle group
[00:59.28]to the Persian Gulf in response to, what it said, were threats from Iran.
[01:05.92]The U.S. had accused Iran of using mines to attack
[01:10.00]four oil tankers near the port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates.
[01:16.44]Iran has denied any involvement.
[01:21.00]However, Iran has repeatedly said it would block the Strait of Hormuz,
[01:25.98]near where the attacks happened,
[01:27.99]if it cannot sell its oil because of U.S. sanctions.
[01:33.12]About one third of the world's oil trade passes through the strait.
[01:40.24]News of the attack caused the price of oil to jump as much as 4%.
[01:47.40]Iran has also warned that it is ready
[01:50.16]to break the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers
[01:54.37]that the Trump administration withdrew from last year.
[01:58.46]Under the deal reached with China, Russia, France, Germany, Britain and the U.S.,
[02:06.60]Iran had agreed to limit its enrichment of uranium
[02:10.77]in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.
[02:15.68]The latest attacks happened as Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
[02:21.24]was meeting with Iranian leaders in an attempt to lower tensions in the area.
[02:28.12]Iran's leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned after the meeting
[02:33.24]that, while it does not seek nuclear weapons,
[02:36.38]"America could not do anything" to stop Iran if it did.
[02:42.02]The attack took place one day after Iran-supported Houthi rebels in Yemen
[02:48.48]fired a missile at an airport in Saudi Arabia, injuring 26 people.
[02:55.60]The Houthis had also claimed an armed drone strike last month
[03:00.80]on Saudi oil pumping stations.
[03:03.84]Saudi Arabia, which is fighting the Houthis,
[03:07.85]called Thursday's attack a "major escalation."
[03:13.04]Russia, one of Iran's main allies, urged caution,
[03:18.68]saying no one should rush to judgement about the attack
[03:22.80]or use it to put pressure on Tehran.
[03:27.24]International Tanker Management operates the Front Altair,
[03:31.80]one of the damaged tankers.
[03:35.00]The company said that an explosion resulted in a fire on the tanker.
[03:40.55]Bernhard Schulte Ship management operates Kokuka Courageous,
[03:45.78]the other ship involved.
[03:47.32]That company said the hull of its tanker was damaged in a "suspected attack."
[03:55.72]Iranian state television said 44 sailors from the two tankers
[04:01.16]were rescued by other ships in the area.
[04:05.60]They were then brought to an Iranian port in the southern area of Hormozgan.
[04:11.15]I'm Jonathan Evans. 更多聽力請訪問51VOA.COM