TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said Sunday that suspicious attacks against oil tankers in the Sea of Oman are in line with the U.S. economic sanctions on Iran.
Larijani said the attacks on oil tankers on Thursday have all the fingerprints of the U.S. after the country failed to achieve any results through economic sanctions on Iran.
He said the U.S. has a track record of fabricating tension to use it as a pretext for aggression, citing incidents during the World War when the Americans would target their own ships near Japan to give themselves an excuse to ramp up aggression against the Asian country.
Shortly after the incidents on Thursday morning, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran, without offering any evidence. Iran has rejected the accusation, and footage later released by the U.S. as proof of Iranian involvement has been discredited by experts and dismissed by other governments, including Japan.
Larijani mocked remarks by Pompeo, who urged Iran to "meet diplomacy with diplomacy, not with terror, bloodshed, and extortion.”
"The funny part of the story is Pompeo’s remarks advising Iran to use diplomacy in response to diplomatic moves. He’s really a fine one to talk,” Larijani said.
The Iranian official then named a series of measures taken by the U.S. against Iran and asked if they constituted "diplomacy.”
"Is it diplomacy to start a face-off with a revolutionary nation with acts of economic terrorism, which they themselves call the toughest ever?” he said.
"Is it diplomacy, Mr. Pompeo, to renege on one’s promises in the nuclear agreement?” he said, referring to the U.S.’s unilateral withdrawal from a multilateral deal with Iran.
On Thursday, two oil tankers – one sailing under a Panama flag and owned by Japan and another bearing the Marshall Islands’ ensign owned by Norwegian Frontline – were hit by yet unspecified accidents in the Sea of Oman. Iranian rescuers rushed to the assistance, transferring all of their 44 crew members to Iran’s southern shores.