A Thursday attack on a Japanese tanker in the Gulf of Oman is being touted by the United States as another example of Iran’s hostility. However, the Middle Eastern country vehemently denies any involvement.
BBC reports that the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the U.S. Navy released a video that they claim shows Iranian special forces removing an unexploded mine from the side of the damaged Japanese tanker. In addition, a Norwegian tanker in the gulf was allegedly hit by three blasts.
The attacks come just one month after four oil tankers were attacked off the coast of the United Arab Emirates — which the U.S. blamed on Iran — and have been part of escalating tensions between the two countries since President Donald Trump took office in 2017.
Yutaka Katada, the owner of one of the damaged fuel tankers in the Gulf of Oman explosions, used an appearance at a Tokyo press conference to contradict Pompeo and the U.S. military’s account of the attack. In particular, Katada claims that his ship was attacked by a flying object — not a mine — that hit the vessel on the starboard side.
“It seems that something flew towards them,” Katada said, adding that the attack created a hole — at least based on the report he received.
“It seems there was a high chance they were attacked by a flying object. The impact was well above the water. I don’t think it was a torpedo.”
But the Japanese shipowner stopped short of blaming anyone for the attack, per The Daily Beast.
The Gulf of Oman incident must not be used as a pretext for war with Iran. War would be an unmitigated disaster for the United States, Iran, the region, and the world. A unilateral U.S. attack on Iran would be illegal and unconstitutional. https://t.co/D8QK7k50Ur
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) June 14, 2019
As The Inquisitr reported, Beto O’Rourke used his appearance on NPR’s Morning Edition as part of the program’s “Opening Arguments” conversations to reveal his thoughts on a U.S.-Iran nuclear deal, and whether or not he believes he can facilitate one.
“We will have to but it’s going to be really hard,” he said.
“Not only does Iran no longer trust us, but some of our closest allies cannot take our word for granted…. The world wants to know — is the future a democratic one or an autocratic one? And I want to make sure that the United States leads on that, clearly that it’s democratic.”
As for Trump, he recently said that military action against Iran is still possible, although he admitted he would rather deal with the escalating tension with the Middle Eastern country via negotiation, as The Inquisitr previously reported. Trump made the comment to Piers Morgan, co-host of Good Morning Britain, during a Wednesday interview.