EU Asks ‘Maximum Restraint’ of US on Blaming Iran for Tankers Attack at Hormuz Strait
The incident in the Gulf of Oman has piled up more tension on the already strained relations between the United States and Iran.
The Foreign Ministers of the EU member states have urged “maximum restraint”, a call seemingly directed at the United States, on assigning blame to Iran for the recent alleged attack on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, near the Hormuz Strait.
Two oil tankers, one from Norway and one from Japan, were struck last Thursday in what is said to have been an attack in the Gulf of Oman, southeast of the Hormuz Strait.
The crews of both tankers were evacuated, and the US Navy came to the rescue, with the United States, the UK, and Saudi Arabia blaming the alleged attack on Iran.
The US government even released a video claiming it showed Iranians using mines to target the two oil tankers.
Iran itself has denied the accusations but has threatened to block the Hormuz Strait, the strategic passageway between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, which is used to export most of the Middle Eastern oil to the world market amounting to one third of the world’s seaborne oil supply.
In a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, the Foreign Ministers of the EU member states declared they needed more evidence before the Union could pin the responsibility for the Gulf of Oman oil tankers attack on Iran.
They made it clear they were still searching for additional data as to who perpetrated the alleged attacks near the Hormuz Strait.
“The maximum restraint and wisdom should be applied,” EU High Representative on Foreign Policy Federica Mogherini stated.
“I think that the words of Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, were of particular wisdom when he said that the world cannot afford another crisis, especially in this region,” Mogherini said in remarks before the meeting.
She also explicitly stated she had felt no pressure from the United States on assigning the blame for the Gulf of Oman incident to Iran.
The oil tankers attack near the Hormuz Strait come amid growing tensions between the United States and Iran, as the latter announced its intentions to break the 2015 Iranian Nuclear Deal (JCPOA).
The Trump Administration already withdrew the United States from the Iranian Nuclear Deal back in 2018, and imposed new sanctions on Tehran.
Earlier on Monday, Tehran said it was going to breach its uranium stockpile limit set by the deal by June 27, 2019.
It also gave three EU signatories of the 2015 deal – Britain, Fracen, and Germany – a deadline until July 7 to present new solutions on how to cushion the blow on the country from the American sanctions.
“Our assessment on the implementation of the Iran Deal is based on the factual, technically sound evaluation that International Atomic Energy Agency makes in its reports. And so far Iran has been compliant with its nuclear commitments. Our focus is to keep the agreement in place,” Mogherini tweeted after the Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg.
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