New Zealand condemns attacks on oil tankers in Oman Sea

TEHRAN, Jun. 18 (MNA) – New Zealand has condemned the "provocative" attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and expressed "on-going and deep concern", but stopped short of blaming Iran.

Both the United States and the United Kingdom have accused Iran of being behind the explosions, an allegation Tehran denies.

In a statement, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said the attacks were "dramatically raising tensions in the region" and could have wider consequences.

"The safety and security of international waters is of great importance to all trading nations," Peters said.

"At this time, any misstep or a miscalculation could lead to a serious escalation."

New Zealand called on all parties involved to exercise "caution, restraint and common-sense" and to avoid steps that could undermine peace and security, Mr Peters said.

While the Japanese Prime Minister was visiting Iran after 4 decades and many expected even more reduction of the tensions in the region due his visit, in another suspicious and provocative move two large tankers were hit by explosions in the Sea of Oman on Thursday, a move that can intensify the tensions more than before.

Following the attack, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hastily accused Iran of carrying out the attacks without providing any evidence to back up his accusation.

In this regard, Iran rejected US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's anti-Iran accusations, saying the suspicious nature of the recent attacks on two oil tankers in the Sea of Oman is "not funny or ridiculous but alarming".

MNA/PR

News Code 146586

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