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US weighing 'full range' of options to counter Iran, including a military strike: Mike Pompeo on Iran

File photo: US secretary of state Mike Pompeo. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jun 17, 2019, 06.20 AM (IST)

Amid rising tension between the US and Iran over recent attacks on civilian oil tankers in the Middle East, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States is considering a 'full range of options' — including a military strike.

"The United States is considering a full range of options. We have briefed the President a couple of times, we'll continue to keep him updated. We are confident that we can take a set of actions that can restore deterrence which is our mission set," Pompeo said in a TV interview.

Pompeo, at the same time, suggested that Washington seeks to prevent the ongoing tension with Iran from escalating any further.

"President Trump has done everything he can to avoid war. We don't want war," he said in another interview with Fox News on the same day.

Gulf of Oman: Saudi Arabia blames tanker attacks on rival Iran
 

Pompeo, in a series of Sunday television interviews, emphasized the US international outreach in the wake of what the US says were Iranian attacks Thursday on two oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran has denied being involved in the attacks and accused America of promoting a negative campaign against it.

Last week, two oil tankers — Marshall Islands-flagged Front Altair and the Panama-flagged Kokuka Courageous — were attacked near the Strait of Hormuz.

Shortly after the incident, the United States claimed that Tehran was responsible for the attack, a statement that was denounced by the latter earlier today.

To back its claim, the US released a blurry video which, the country believed, showed the boat crew of Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) removing an unexploded mine from one of the tankers shortly after the attack.

The UK, in a statement, said that Iran should be held responsible for the attack on four oil tankers off the port of Fujairah last month. 

A third of the world's seaborne oil supply passes through the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow channel bordered to the north by Iran that links the Gulf with the Gulf of Oman.

(With inputs from agencies)

Story highlights

Pompeo emphasized the US international outreach in the wake of what the US says were Iranian attacks Thursday on two oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz.