Trump tells Iran he's ready 'when they are' - for talks, not war

US President Donald Trump says he's ready to launch talks with Iran whenever it is ready, even as he blamed the "nation of terror" 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 on Friday.

"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. US 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 US 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."

The exact circumstances and cause of the incident remain unclear.

In a Tweet, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the US was making allegations against Tehran without "a shred of factual or circumstantial evidence" making it "abundantly clear that the #B_Team is moving to a #PlanB: Sabotage diplomacy."

The term "B team" refers to the team led by US National Security Adviser John Bolton, who is known for his hawkish approach to Iran.

Zarif also said it was "suspicious" that the attack on the Japanese tanker took place while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was on a high profile visit to Iran.

In comments to the BBC, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he backs the US view that Iran was responsible for the attacks.

The German government expressed serious concerns over the attacks and warned against "a spiral of escalation," while the European Union held back on supporting the claim that Iran was responsible.

Reuters