The United States Army released a video on Thursday that allegedly shows an Iranian Navy ship at the time it is removing an unexploded mine from the hull of the Japanese-owned oil tanker Kokura Courageous, one of the two tankers attacked in the Gulf of Iran. Oman.
On Thursday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for attacking the Kokura Courageous and another ship, the Norwegian-owned Front Altair, and said the assessment was based on intelligence. Later, on Thursday night, the US Central Command released the video, which allegedly shows Iranian sailors as they remove a mine from the Kokura Courageous’s hull.
The attack comes at a time of great tensions between the United States and Iran and could reinforce the characters of firmer positions against Iran within the US government. One of them, national security adviser John Bolton, announced last month that the Pentagon would deploy the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier and a task force of bombers in the Middle East in response to a “number of worrying and progressive warnings and warnings. “From Iran.
Earlier on Thursday, four US officials UU They told CNN that EE. UU I had the images.
One of the officials said the video came from a US military plane that was recording while he was taking a flyby.
The boat took action even after the destroyer USS Bainbridge, as well as a US drone and a P-8 aircraft, had been on the scene for four hours. US defense officials believe that the Iranians were seeking to recover evidence of their involvement in the attack.
Another official told CNN that multiple small Iranian boats have entered the area where the USS Bainbridge follows, prompting the US Central Command to issue a statement saying: “No interference with the USS Bainbridge will be tolerated. with his mission. “
The two ships, one carrying oil and the other carrying chemical products, were attacked in strategically important international waters near the Strait of Hormuz. All crew members were evacuated and were safe, according to the owners of the two ships.
The images published by the Central Command of EE. UU On Thursday they showed the crew of the USS Bainbridge helping the crew of the Kokuka Courageous after their rescue.
The ships were hit “at or below the waterline, near the engine room,” said the International Association of Independent Tank Owners (Intertanko).
“These attacks seemed to be well planned and coordinated,” the association said.
Jonathan Cohen, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, said on Thursday that he echoed Pompeo’s comments at a private meeting of the UN Security Council, describing the attack as “another example of Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region”.
The Iranian mission to the UN rejected the claim of the United States.
Alireza Miryousefi, a spokesman for the Iranian mission, tweeted a statement saying that Iran “categorically rejects the unfounded assertion of the United States” that Iran is behind the attacks and “condemns it in the strongest terms.”
He added that Iran “expresses concern” about the “suspicious incidents”. And he described as “ironic” that the United States, which withdrew from the nuclear agreement with Iran, is now calling on the Persian nation to return to negotiations and diplomacy.
After the attack, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that “suspicious is little to describe” this latest incident, and noted that one of the oil tankers is Japanese-owned and the attack occurred when the Prime Minister of Japan , Shinzo Abe, was visiting Iran in an effort to defuse tensions between Washington and Tehran.
“The reported attacks on oil tankers related to Japan occurred while the prime minister was meeting with Ayatollah [Ali Khamenei] for extensive and friendly talks. Suspicious is little to describe what probably happened this morning, “Zarif wrote on Thursday.
The incident follows attacks on four oil tankers in the port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates in May.
The initial findings of an international investigation of the attack last month concluded that a “state actor” was the most likely culprit.
The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Norway told the UN Security Council last week that there is “strong evidence that last month’s attacks were part of a sophisticated and coordinated operation carried out with significant operational capacity.”
Source: Cnn in Spanish