US President Donald Trump Friday rejected Iran’s denial that it attacked two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, saying the limpet mine had “Iran written all over it.” Blaming Iran for the attack, Trump in an Interview with “Fox and Friends,” said, “Iran did do it.”
“You know they did it because you saw the boat,” Trump said after the US military released footage that showed an Iranian patrol boat removing an “unexploded limpet mine” from one of the tankers.
He also denied closing of the Strait of Hormuz, a key commercial shipping route following the attack. When asked how he plans to address Tehran and stop any further such incidents, Trump said: “We’re going to see.”
The US military on Friday released a video it said showed Iran’s Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded limpet mine from one of the oil tankers targeted near the Strait of Hormuz, suggesting the Islamic Republic sought to remove evidence of its involvement from the scene.
The US Navy rushed to assist the stricken vessels in the Gulf of Oman off the coast of Iran, including one that was set ablaze Thursday by an explosion. The ships’ operators offered no immediate explanation on who or what caused the damage against the Norwegian-owned MT Front Altair and the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous. Each was loaded with petroleum products, and the Front Altair burned for hours, sending up a column of thick, black smoke.
Meanwhile, Iran termed the accusation as ” baseless” saying the country is responsible for maintaining the security of the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said, “Obviously, accusing Iran of such a suspicious and unfortunate incident is the simplest and the most convenient way for (U.S. Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo and other U.S. officials. These accusations are alarming.”