Navy Provides Evidence that Iran Behind Oil Tanker Attacks in Gulf of Oman; Iran Gives European Nations Deadline to Protect Nuclear Deal

  • To further prove its case that Iran was behind the attack of two tanker ships in the Gulf of Oman last week, the U.S. Navy “displayed limpet mine fragments and a magnet it said it had removed from one of two oil tankers.”
  • Sean Kido from the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) said: “The limpet mine that was used in the attack is distinguishable and also strikingly bearing a resemblance to Iranian mines that have already been publicly displayed in Iranian military parades.”
  • When referring to the Japanese-owned ship that was damaged, Kido added: “The damage at the blast hole is consistent with a limpet mine attack; it is not consistent with an external flying object striking the ship.”
  • Iran has vehemently denied it was involved in the May 12 attack that occurred near the Strait of Hormuz, a major waterway for global oil.
  • The attack further ramped up tensions between the U.S. and Iran. The countries’ relationship deteriorated after President Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and placed fresh sanctions on the country.
  • Iran threatened to violate the deal and increase its nuclear arsenal and announced on Wednesday, “it would give European powers no more time beyond July 8 to save the nuclear deal by shielding its economy from U.S. sanctions.”
  • There has been war talk between the two countries, and the U.S. sent an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East to protect U.S. interests.
  • According to reports, “Trump also left open whether he would support the use of force to protect Gulf oil supplies Washington fears might be put in jeopardy by Iran in the brewing confrontation.”
  • On Wednesday, Germany and France said “they would crank up efforts to halt any spiral toward conflict with Iran, but that time was running out and the risk of war could not be ruled out.”
  • French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said: “We want to unify our efforts so that there is a de-escalation process that starts.”
  • He added:  “There is still time and we hope all the actors show more calm. There is still time, but only a little time.”
  • On Wednesday, another incident happened that is likely to increase tensions between Iran and the U.S. when “a rocket crashed onto a site in southern Iraq used by foreign oil companies, including U.S. energy giant ExxonMobil, wounding three people.”

Reference Links

  • Reuters: U.S. Navy says mine fragments suggest Iran behind Gulf tanker attack READ
  • Haartez: U.S. Navy Expert: Tanker Attack Mine Resembles Iranian Mines READ
  • YAHOO!: UPDATE 2-U.S. Navy says mine fragments, magnet point to Iran in Gulf tanker attack READ

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