U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday directly blamed Iran for an apparent attack on a pair of oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz. Pompeo made the accusation just hours after the incident, which damaged Japanese- and Norwegian-owned ships without injuring either ship’s crew members.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: “This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.”
A grainy video handout provided by the Pentagon shows what the U.S. claims is surveillance footage of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded mine from the side of the Japanese oil tanker attacked. However, the president of the Japanese company that owns the ship said it was not attacked by mines but two flying objects. He also said he does not believe any objects were attached to the side of the ship. Iran denied any involvement and accused the Trump administration of trying to sabotage diplomacy. We’ll have more on the growing tensions between the U.S. and Iran after headlines with Vijay Prashad.