US Says Video Shows Iran Removing Mine from Stricken Tanker

US Says Video Shows Iran Removing Mine from Stricken Tanker

Blaming Iran for the attack, Trump in an Interview with "Fox and Friends", said, "Iran did do it".

USA officials say all 21 sailors from the Kokuka Courageous, the other tanker that was hit, have been treated and returned to their ship and are preparing to tow the strick vessel back to port after they were rescued by the American guided-missile destroyer Bainbridge.

He also said any move to close the Strait of Hormuz would not last long.

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 US and the Islamic Republic.

Two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz were reportedly attacked on Thursday.

The operator of the Kokuka Courageous, BSM Ship Management, said its crew abandoned ship and were rescued by a passing vessel.

He said the USA made the judgement "based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, [and] recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping".

Trump cited no new potential U.S. responses, saying the United States has been "very tough on sanctions".

"I want to abstain at this moment from any statements about the consequences and those responsible for the attacks", he added.

"Iran, however, has the weapons, the expertise, and the requisite intelligence information to pull this off", he said.

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The latest attack on the two tankers happened as Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was meeting with Iranian leaders in an effort to lower tensions in the area.

The incident was the second attack on shipping in the region in four weeks, recalling the so-called Tanker War of the 1980s, when hundreds of vessels were damaged during the Iran-Iraq conflict.

"While I very much appreciate P.M. Abe going to Iran to meet with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, I personally feel that it is too soon to even think about making a deal".

The attacks are similar to those the United States says Iran carried out in May against four commercial ships in the region.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted that Washington had "immediately jumped to make allegations against Iran without a shred of factual or circumstantial evidence".

But when pressed about where the body is, al-Jubeir said "we understand from the investigations. there was a local [Turkey] collaborator who disposed of the body", he said, adding it was unknown where the disposal took place. Tehran has denied all the charges.

One of the tankers, Front Altair, sailed out of Ruwais in the UAE, and Kokuka out of the Saudi port of al-Jubail, according to shipping tracking data.

Iranian state media reported that the Iranian Navy rescued the 44 and transferred them to an Iranian port, a claim disputed by the United States, which said its Navy had come to the rescue of some of those aboard the ships.

In this photo dated Thursday June 13, 2019, made available by the Norwegian shipowner Frontline, showing the crude oil tanker Front Altair seen through glass observation window as water cannon operate during the firefighting of the fire onboard the Norwegian ship in the Gulf of Oman.

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