The United States, which has accused Iran or its proxies of carrying out a May 12 attack on four tankers off the United Arab Emirates' coast as well as May 14 drone strikes on two Saudi oil pumping stations, squarely blamed Iran for Thursday's attacks.
The Kokuka Courageous was sailing through the Gulf of Oman towards the port of Khor Fakkan in the United Arab Emirates before it was evacuated after it was attacked, Yutaka Katada, president of Kokuka Sanyago, told a news conference. The crew on the Kokuka Courageous escaped on a lifeboat and were rescued by a Dutch ship then taken in by an an unidentified United States warship.
The U.S. Navy sent a destroyer, the USS Bainbridge, to assist, said Cmdr. He said that the crew of the second tanker, the Front Altair, were put aboard a Revolutionary Guard Corp vessel.
Katada added that the ship's 25,000 tonnes methanol shipment had not been damaged in the attack.
Yemen's Iran-aligned Huthi rebels said they had fired missiles on an airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.
Following the blast, the United States said it has proofs that Iran was behind the attacks while Reuters recently quoted anonymous official mentioning that the video clip clearly shows Iran's Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) approaching the vessel and removing the mine.
Iran has denied being involved in the attack, calling it an "unfounded claim" in the U.S.' 'Iranophobic campaign.' However, Iran previously used mines against oil tankers in 1987 and 1988 in the 'Tanker War, ' when the U.S. Navy escorted ships through the region.
The attacks, which came a month after a similar incident targeting four tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, "demonstrate the clear threat that Iran poses to global peace and security", Mr Cohen said.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has described the incidents as suspicious. "These accusations are alarming".
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Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "This is deeply worrying and comes at a time of already huge tension". I have been in contact with Pompeo and, while we will be making our own assessment soberly and carefully, our starting point is obviously to believe USA allies.
Crude oil prices spiked more than 4 percent after the attacks near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial shipping artery for Saudi Arabia and other Gulf energy producers.
With tensions spiraling between Iran and the United States, the European Union called for "maximum restraint" as UN chief Antonio Guterres warned the world can not afford a major confrontation in the Gulf.
The U.S. Navy rushed to assist the stricken vessels in the Gulf of Oman off the coast of Iran, including one that was set ablaze Thursday by an explosion.
"We are in a risky moment in the region with this emerging pattern of attacks", said Elizabeth Dickinson, senior analyst with International Crisis Group.
Tensions have increased further since Trump acted at the beginning of May to force Iran's oil customers to slash their imports to zero or face draconian US financial sanctions.
The firm that operates the Front Altair told The Associated Press that an explosion was the cause of the fire onboard. Both ships' status was "stopped", with the former reaching that status at 06:47 GMT and the latter at 06:21 GMT.
Pompeo noted that Japanese Prime Minister Abe had asked Iran to enter into talks with Washington but Tehran "rejected" the overture.
The master of the Front Altair ordered the 23-member crew to abandon ship after a blast, International Tanker Management, the technical manager of the vessel, said in a statement. Its crew of 23 - from Russian Federation, the Philippines and Georgia - was safely evacuated to the nearby Hyundai Dubai vessel, it said.