- The U.S. military released footage that allegedly show Iran removing a mine from an oil tanker that was attacked on Thursday, and they blame Iran for the attack.
- Iran has denied allegations and blamed the attack on someone trying to ruin their relations with other countries.
- Other sources say that evidence suggesting the object removed from the tanker was a mine is circumstantial.
The U.S. military released video footage that they say shows Iranian special forces removing an unexploded mine from an oil tanker after an attack Thursday, but other sources are disagreeing that the object was a mine.
Two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman Thursday and President Donald Trump has blamed on Iran, who denies the allegations. Footage was released that the U.S. says proves Iran was the perpetrator behind the attacks, but Iran said Friday that these accusations were “alarming,” according to the Washington Post. The attack resulted in about a 4% increase in oil prices.
U.S. Centcom published a statement Thursday evening saying that an “IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] Gashti Class patrol boat approached the M/T [motor tanker] Kokuka Courageous and was observed and recorded removing the unexploded limpet mine from the M/T Kokuka Courageous.” The accompanied video shows people in a boat removing an object from the side of a tanker.
Along with the US Centcom statement the following video was published, claiming to show a IRGC Gashti Class patrol boat removing a unexploded limpet mine from the Kokuka Courageous https://t.co/tfN0KGx2Xz pic.twitter.com/4Gxu9xUlu9
— Bellingcat (@bellingcat) June 14, 2019
Yutaka Katada, the president of the attacked ship’s operator Kokuka Sangyo, appeared to dispute the idea that the object was a mine.
“Our crew said that the ship was attacked by a flying object,” Katada said in an interview. “I do not think there was a time bomb or an object attached to the side of the ship.”
According to both Bellingcat and analysis by Frank Gardner, BBC’S security correspondent, the boat in the video is similar to the one that Iran’s IRGC uses. A Bellingcat Twitter thread shows multiple images that appear to indicate that the vessel in the video is one of the vessels that the IRGC usually uses.
Iran has placed the blame of the attack on someone looking to ruin Iran’s relations with other countries, BBC reported.
Although the U.S. specified that the object removed from the oil tanker was an unexploded mine, this has been questioned as well. Bellingcat tweeted that the evidence was “circumstantial” based on the video and the research they conducted. They also stated that Iran may have removed the object to investigate it, and that it doesn’t mean that they definitely were the culprits.
And again, to be clear, there’s currently no evidence to verify what was removed from the side of the vessel was a mine, and there’s no evidence at the moment about who placed it there, so claiming it was a mine placed by the Iranians is pure conjecture at this point in time.
— Bellingcat (@bellingcat) June 14, 2019
Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have escalated in recent years after Trump abandoned a nuclear deal that developed under former President Barack Obama. The Trump administration has since given historic sanctions to Iran.
Trump stated that Iran was definitely behind the attacks in an interview with Fox & Friends Friday morning.
“Well, Iran did do it, and you know they did do it because you saw the boat,” Trump said on Fox & Friends. “They didn’t want the evidence left behind. . . . It was them that did it.”
The U.S. Centcom statement also wrote that the M/T Kokuka Courageous crew abandoned their ship after they discovered a “probable unexploded limpet mine on their hull” after the explosion, before the object was removed.
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