Iran dismissed all allegations made by the US in the attack on two oil tankers that were hit in the Gulf of Oman calling them ‘baseless’.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Washington would defend its forces and allies in the region, as Washington pressed its case as the UN Security Council met to address the incident – the second in a month in the strategic shipping lane.

According to reports, the tankers were struck in the same area where the US accused Iran of using naval mines to sabotage four other oil ships in an attack last month.

Iran’s mission to the UN pushed back, saying: “The US and its regional allies must stop warmongering.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted that the US administration had “immediately jumped to make allegations against Iran without a shred of factual or circumstantial evidence”.

He accused Washington of seeking to “sabotage diplomacy” amid a visit to Iran by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and “cover up its economic terrorism” against Iran.

Elizabeth Dickinson, a senior analyst with International Crisis Group, said, “We are in a dangerous moment in the region with this emerging pattern of attacks,”

The ship, which was built in 2016, had set sail from the Emirati port of Ruwais and was set to arrive at the Taiwanese port of Kaohsiung on 30 June.