(June 14): The Trump administration blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers near the entrance to the Persian Gulf, escalating tensions between the two rivals despite denials from officials in Tehran and a lack of public evidence for the US claim.

“The United States will defend its forces, interests and stand with our partners and allies to safeguard global commerce and regional stability,” Secretary of State Michael Pompeo told reporters Thursday in Washington, noting that Iran had previously threatened to curtail oil transport in the Strait of Hormuz.

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