US releases new photos it says incriminate Iran in tanker attacks

US releases new photos it says incriminate Iran in tanker attacks

Iran limpet mine
US Pentagon in Washington releases handout imagery that it says shows damage from Iranian mines to commercial ships in Gulf of Oman.

WASHINGTON: The United States military on Monday (Jun 17) released new photos it says incriminate Iran in an attack last week on a tanker ship in strategic Gulf waters.

The US argument centres on an unexploded limpet mine on the Kokuka Courageous ship it says was removed by Iranians on a patrol boat.

"Iran is responsible for the attack based on video evidence and the resources and proficiency needed to quickly remove the unexploded limpet mine," the Pentagon said in a statement accompanying the imagery.

The US released a grainy black and white video last week it said showed the Iranians removing the mine, but has not provided an explanation for why they allegedly did so while the US military was observing them.

One of the photos released on Monday shows what the Pentagon described as "the remnants of the magnetic attachment device of (an) unexploded limpet mine," while others picture the place where the mine was allegedly attached.

Iran boat
This image released by the US Department of Defence in a press release shows an Iranian boat alongside a tanker under attack. It was presented as a new evidence incriminating Iran in the Jun 13 tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman. (US NAVY/AFP)

Additional images picture damage from what the US says was a limpet mine that did explode on the same ship, and others are said to show the Iranians removing the unexploded mine and the patrol boat they travelled on.

Iran device
This image released by the US Department of Defence in a press release is presented as a new evidence incriminating Iran in the Jun 13 tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman. (US NAVY/AFP)

Tehran has vehemently denied any involvement in the attack on the Kokuka Courageous and another ship, and hinted that Washington itself could have done it to pile pressure on the Islamic republic on top of economic sanctions.

The crew of the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous reported that they saw a "flying object" before a second blast on board, the head of the shipping company said on Friday.

Source: AFP/de

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