International

US releases photos to prove that Iran attacked tankers

US releases photos to prove that Iran attacked tankers
This image released by the U.S. Department of Defense on Monday, June 17, 2019.
Washington, Jun 18 (AP) | Publish Date: 6/18/2019 11:23:31 AM IST

In an effort to bolster its public case against Iran, the Pentagon on Monday released new photos that officials said show that members of Tehran’s Revolutionary Guard were responsible for attacks last week on two oil tankers near the Persian Gulf.   The images, many taken from a Navy helicopter, show what the Pentagon said were Iranian forces removing an unexploded mine from the side of the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman.

Officials last week said the move appeared to be an attempt to remove forensic evidence from the scene of the attack. But it’s not clear if examination of the mine would have made it definitively clear that the device was planted by the IRGC.

Other photos show a large hole on the side of the Courageous, above the water line, that officials say appears to have been caused by another similar mine.

The release of the photos came as the US works this week to convince members of Congress and allies that the accusations against Tehran are true.  

Iran has denied involvement in the tanker attacks and has accused America of promoting an “Iranophobic” campaign. Tehran, however, has repeatedly threatened to close the vital Strait of Hormuz, through which 20 per cent of the world’s oil flows. 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he made a number of calls Sunday and Monday to international leaders, trying to convince them that keeping the Strait of Hormuz safe and open is a problem they all must deal with.

Iran will not go to war with any nation: Rouhani

Tehran, June 18 (IANS) Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday reaffirmed that his country does not seek war with any nation, but stressed that Tehran will come out as the ultimate winner of any warfare against it.

“We will not wage war with any nation, those facing us are a group of politicians with little experience,” Rouhani said while addressing an inauguration ceremony at the Imam Khomeini International Airport here.

Rouhani’s comment came a day after acting US Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced the deployment of about 1,000 more troops to the Middle East amid escalating tensions with Iran, reports Press TV.  

The US administration has accused Iran of being responsible for the attacks, and the latter has denied the allegation. In response to Shanahan’s announcement, Rouhani said that Tehran has time and again said that it does not seek military confrontations with the US, yet stands ready to defend its interests in the region.

The Iranian President said that “despite all of the Americans’ attempts in the region and their intention to cut off our ties with the entire world and their desire to isolate Iran, they have been unsuccessful”.

The world community, he added, praises Iran’s stance in its face-off with America, Press TV reported.

“Iran has been loyal to its signature, Iran has been loyal to international agreements, and the one standing against us today is the one that has trampled all pacts, agreements and international accords,” he added, referring to Washington’s withdrawal from a 2015 multilateral nuclear deal with Tehran.

Washington and Tehran have been locked in a war of words in recent weeks amid escalating tensions following America’s military build-up in the Middle East.

Last month, the Pentagon announced its decision to send to the Middle East 1,500 US troops along with Patriot air defence systems, drones, and fighter jets, a move Shanahan called a “prudent response to credible threats from Iran”.

Iran has vowed to withstand the US “bullying policies”.

 

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