A Norwegian and a Japanese cargo ship saw explosions in the Gulf of Oman.
Evidently, that the air-dash to Tehran last week by Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the first by a Japanese leader to Iran in 40 years, to try to bring about an air of conciliation between the US and the Iran, has brought no results.
The trip proved futile because US President Donald Trump — after tearing up the multilateral agreement of great powers with Tehran to stop enriching uranium to weapons grade in the foreseeable future in return for lifting of economic sanctions — had nothing to offer except words that have no concrete meaning.
Much has happened since Mr Abe’s pointless visit. A Norwegian and a Japanese cargo ship saw explosions in the Gulf of Oman. Mr Trump has squarely blamed the Iranians for this, but the US has offered no proof to back its allegation that the Iranians used limpet mines to attack the ships. In contrast, the owner of the Japanese vessel has quoted his ship's crew to say that it was hit by flying objects, rather than by a torpedo or mine.
Is the US bent on using any pretext to start hostilities against Iran with which its Arab allies and close friend Israel are at odds? It has
assembled warships and soldiers in the area and seems to be looking for a trigger point.
The regional consequences of such a conflict can mess up geo-economics and geopolitics beyond the region, and hurt India, too. Washington must be made to see reason by other major powers and start serious talks. This should happen before the G-20 meeting in Japan later this month lest the Americans act before that.