The world cannot afford a major confrontation in the Gulf, UN chief Antonio Guterres warned Thursday, as the Security Council prepared to meet to discuss suspected attacks on two oil tankers in a strategic sea lane. The latest incident, the second in the Gulf of Oman in a month, came amid spiralling tensions between Tehran and Washington, which has pointed the finger at Iran over earlier tanker attacks in May. At the request of the United States, the Security Council was to meet behind closed doors later Thursday to discuss the situation in the Gulf. Guterres said he strongly condemned any attack against civilian vessels. “Facts must be established and responsibilities clarified,” the UN secretary-general told a council meeting on UN cooperation with the Arab League. “If there is something the world cannot afford, it is a major confrontation in the Gulf region.” US acting Ambassador Jonathan Cohen said it was “unacceptable for any party to attack commercial shipping,” stopping short blaming Iran.