WASHINGTON, June 14 (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he was ready to launch talks with Iran whenever it was ready, even as he blamed Tehran for attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.
“We want to get them back to the table,” Trump told Fox News in an interview. “I’m ready when they are,” adding that he was in “no rush.”
Asked how to he planned to address Tehran and stop any further incidents, Trump said: “We’ll see what happens.”
Thursday’s attacks raised questions about shipping through the Strait of Hormuz, a key commercial route, and what steps the United States may take to protect the area. U.S. officials have said the United States would defend its interests.
“They’re not going to be closing it. It’s not going to be closed. It’s not going to be closed for long,” Trump said.
The Trump administration has blamed Iran for the attack, citing a video made from a U.S. aircraft that it said showed Iran‘s Revolutionary Guards on patrol boats drawing up to one of the ships near the Strait of Hormuz after the blasts and removing an unexploded limpet mine.
“Iran did do it,” Trump told Fox. “It’s essentially got Iran written all over it… I guess they didn’t want the evidence left behind.”
Tehran has called to U.S. accusation alarming and wrong.
The Gulf of Oman connects the Arabian Sea with the Strait of Hormuz, which then runs to the Persian Gulf.
(Reporting by Makini Brice and Susan Heavey; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jeffrey Benkoe)