O’Rourke: Trump Admin Is ‘Gunning for War in Iran’

O’Rourke: Trump Admin Is ‘Gunning for War in Iran’

The president's comments follow American officials' release of images they said show that Iran was involved in an attack on an oil tanker near the entrance to the Persian Gulf on Thursday, one of two incidents that have raised tensions between the USA and the Islamic Republic.

The video, reportedly taken by the USS Bainbridge, shows what the United States claimed to be an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Gashti Class patrol boat going to the side of the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous tanker, with a crew member apparently removing the item from the hull-proof, according to a us official, that Iran was responsible for Thursday's attacks, which also consisted of an attack on the Norwegian-owned tanker Front Altair.

"It is the assessment of the United States government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks in the Gulf of Oman", he said at a press briefing on Thursday afternoon at the U.S. State Department.

USA officials released a video Friday supposedly showing Iran's Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded limpet mine from one of the vessels.

We want to get them back to the table if they want to go back.

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

"The 23 crew members of the "Front Altair" remain safe and well, with plans being made for their repatriation soonest", she added.

Iran has denied any involvement in Thursday's attacks, saying they were carried out by someone looking to derail Iran's relations with the worldwide community.

The Iran-aligned group said multiple drone strikes targeted control rooms at Jizan airport and a fuel station at Abha airport.

The Singapore-bound tanker, loaded with methanol from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, sent out a distress call Thursday morning and the USA destroyer responded.

Hours after the incident, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo f for the attacks on the Norwegian and Japanese tankers. "This is the same man by the way who refused to condemn Putin after the Salisbury Novichok attacks", he said. He also said that any move to close the Strait of Hormuz would not last long.

It is the second time in the past few weeks that tankers appear to have been attacked in the region and comes amid escalating tension between Iran and the United States.

A plume of smoke emerges from an oil tanker after it was attacked in the Gulf of Oman.

The Gulf of Oman is next to the Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping lane.

A Japanese company in charge of one of the damaged tankers, the Kokuka Courageous, dismissed American suspicions against Iran, saying it was unlikely that underwater weapons were used.

"Warning, once again, about all of the USA coercion, intimidation, and malign behavior, Iran expresses concern over suspicious incidents for the oil tankers that occurred today", the statement added.

The earlier shootdown of and MQ-9, allegedly by Iran-backed Houthi rebels, would not be the first time the US military has come into conflict with the group. But it does raise questions about the USA intelligence version of what happened in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, as tensions rise, it's hard not to ask the simple question of "who benefits?" as we get closer to the war with Iran that senior administration figures covet so badly.

Benchmark Brent crude oil rose more than four per cent in trading to over $62 (around £48.92) a barrel after reports of the incident.

The suspected attacks occurred at dawn Thursday about 40 kilometers (25 miles) off the southern coast of Iran.

The ship's crew saw an Iranian military vessel in the vicinity Thursday night Japan time, Katada said, according to Reuters news agency.

Iran has repeatedly said it will not re-enter talks with the United States unless it reverses Trump's decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal.

The US also released still images of the Kokuka Courageous it says shows the unexploded mine on the side of the tanker.

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