Posted on June 17, 2019
Saudi Arabia joined the US and the UK in blaming Iran for the attack – a claim the country strongly denies. The incident caused oil prices to soar amid fears of a conflict in the region causing major disruption to world supplies.
Mr Hunt said Britain is “urging all sides” in the dispute to “de-escalate” in order to avoid an armed conflict.
Speaking on the BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, he said: “Having spoken to President Trump, I am absolutely clear that for America they want this to end in negotiations. Let’s see Iran stop its destabilising activities in Lebanon through Hezbollah, in Yemen where they are firing missiles into Saudi Arabia, on the Gulf as we have seen. That is the long-term solution.”
Tensions have been rising in the region since the US pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on the country.
The US accused Iran of using limpet mines to target the tankers, releasing video footage it said showed the Iranian military removing an unexploded mine from one of the ships. Last month, the US sent an aircraft carrier and bombers to the region to counter what it said was a growing threat from Iran.
During his interview, Mr Hunt defended the Foreign Office’s view that Iran was “almost certain” to blame for the attacks on the tankers. “We have done our own intelligence assessment. We have got videos of what happened. We have seen evidence. We don’t believe anyone else could have done this,” he said.