Friday, November 22, 2019

Posted at: Jun 15, 2019, 8:10 AM; last updated: Jun 15, 2019, 8:10 AM (IST)

With video proof, US blames Iran for twin tanker attacks

Tehran calls accusation alarming, wrong, says accusing us ‘convenient’

Dubai, June 14

US President Donald Trump blamed Iran on Friday for attacks on two oil tankers at the entrance to the Gulf despite Tehran’s denials, stoking fears of a confrontation in the vital oil shipping route.

Iran earlier dismissed US charges that it was behind Thursday’s attacks that crippled two tankers.

The US military released a video on Thursday it said showed Iran’s Revolutionary Guards were behind the blasts that struck the Norwegian-owned Front Altair and the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous in the Gulf of Oman, at the mouth of the Gulf.

Iran said it was being used as a “convenient” scapegoat.

Tehran and Washington have both said they have no interest in starting a war. But this has done little to assuage concerns that the two arch foes could stumble into a conflict. Oil prices surged, reflecting the jitters, although they have since given up some of those gains.

The US said black-and-white footage it filmed from a US aircraft showed Iran’s Guards on one of their patrol boats drawing up to the Kokuka Courageous and removing an unexploded limpet mine from its hull.

The Japanese-owned tanker was being towed to a port in the UAE on Friday, after a Dutch firm said it had been appointed to salvage the ships. The second tanker, the Norwegian-owned Front Altair,  was still languishing at sea. — Reuters

Cause still unclear

The cause of Thursday’s blasts remains unclear. An initial report that Kokuka Courageous was struck by torpedo was dismissed by a source familiar with the issue. The owner of the tanker that carried methanol later said it was hit by two ‘flying objects’.


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